Prior to revamping my writing space, I couldn’t understand why I had such a hard time being productive. I had invested in a nice desk, splurged on a comfy desk chair, and purchased bookcases that would be functional for what I needed to achieve. However, even after setting everything up just the way I thought I wanted it, the only thing I found myself able to work on in that space were the bills. Occasionally I would suffer through some revisions, but mostly, it was bills.
So I tried dedicating my little office space to writing-related work ONLY. No bills, no school emails and no school functions – just writing. That resulted in my desk collecting dust because I wasn’t doing anything in the space. Still just the occasional revision project. After all the work of picking and choosing what I wanted, why couldn’t I just sit down and get to work? Instead I traveled all over and around my house claiming “I write where the mood strikes me”. Bah! Nonsense.
After getting into a conversation with an artist friend of mine, I finally understood what the problem was and it had nothing to do with being lazy or not focusing. She had just built her studio, just the way she wanted it. She walked me through the whole process. We cringed when they started the project, celebrated when the walls went up, the plumbing got installed, the wiring for lighting and AC, and the exterior and interior finishing touches. Finally, I vicariously shared the experience as she talked me through the excitement of adding her personal touches with design and decor. We spoke almost everyday through the process.
Within those daily conversations we talked about the importance of having a dedicated space to create and she said something that resonated with me. I listened as she touched on how she doesn’t allow everyone into her art studio. I immediately assumed she didn’t want people coming in and stealing ideas or concepts from her work. But that wasn’t it at all. She said,
“Not everyone has the proper energy to be in my space. Whenever someone comes around with bad energy, I find it difficult to work in that space and I’m either not productive that day or I have to change my focus and do something else.”
At first I chuckled, but then I thought about what she said and I knew that was the problem I was having with my workspace. It wasn’t my own and it was flooded with all types of energy that was interfering with my creative energy.
My office is situated in an open floor plan and should technically be the formal dining room. It opens up to our foyer, game room, and family room that has french doors which give us the option of closing it off from the rest of the open area. Based on how I had my office arranged, anyone and everyone had the freedom of walking through my space. If we had guests they were in my space. My children would take things from my desk. Folks would flip my chair around and sit in it. There was a total lack of respect for it and therefore it felt like just another room in the house.
After putting some thought into her idea of spacial energy, I could recall a few times in my own experience when a friend may have dropped by or workmen may have come in to do repairs and I suddenly couldn’t sit and focus once they left. Prior to their visit (or invasion) I was hung ho about getting to my writing once the guest left. The opposite would happen. Once they left, I wanted to write. I really wanted to get to work, but when I would sit at my desk, it just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t focus and I would either go to a different space in my home, or not do it at all. So, it was settled. A little revamping project was in order. You can read the details of how I changed things around in A Simple Space Lift. I found a creative way to isolate my writing nook in order for me to be more productive (on a budget) and what a difference it made.
Since rearranging the space, I have been a more productive writer. That fascinates me. Once I’m in my writing nook, I don’t want to leave. I just want to keep writing. My family has been incredibly respectful of the change – never walking in without permission, including my hubby. He always knocks on the wall (because there’s no door) until I let him know it’s okay to come in. Thanks to the bookcases, friends don’t walk in and automatically assume it’s okay to enter. It’s all mine!
I attribute this productivity to the ability to harness my own creative energy which now dominates the space. As soon as I cross the tiny threshold, I take a deep breath because I can feel the creativity swirling through the air.
There are days when I don’t feel as productive or I didn’t get enough rest the night before and I already know that writing will be a hot mess. On those days, I stay in my little nook anyway. I find something to do toward the progress of my books. Even if its cleaning, reorganizing the shelves, or catching up on administrative things related to my books, I am still working, I am still in my space, and I am still being productive. This is attributed to the spacial energy. I have had more fresh ideas and more intrinsic motivation toward producing than ever before.
Energy is absolutely essential to productivity. It’s no different from walking into a room where others are gathered and somehow feeling that your presence changed the mood in the room. Your creative space works much the same way. It needs to be yours.
Having a dedicated room or area for you to produce work can make all the difference in your output. Be creative. You may not be able to build a studio or remodel a room, but a few creative ideas with existing furniture can go a long way in helping you create the perfect writing space that exudes the energy that you and only you need to fuel your creativity and productivity.
Be creative and write on!