Writing Spaces that Could Change How You Create & Write

by | Writing | 17 comments

“I needed a change of scenery in order to continue writing my third novel. A big move … from one side of the family room to the other.” —Amy Sue Nathan (Writers Digest July/August 2015)

image by geralt

image by geralt

We writers pen our works from such places as a corner in the family room, a coffee shop, a library, or an office. But might we write better if we employ separate spaces for different writing tasks. We may have spots that work well for writing and others better for brainstorming.

I use five spaces for my writing undertakings.

Preferring silence when I work, I’m fortunate to have an office in our home that I designed for writing.

  • It’s open and light, giving a sense of freedom. Windows run the length of one side and face the mountains.
  • It’s home to past and present authors. Bookcases frame two sides and hold favorite novels, writing craft books, biographies, and Bible study works.
  • It’s cozy and inviting. A gas fireplace keeps me warm in winter and a ceiling fan cools me in summer.
  • It’s inspiring. My creative mother’s paintings grace the walls and encourage me.
  • It’s functional. A desk, a table, and a reclining chair provide three workstations.

Is an office necessary? No. (I once enjoyed writing from my bed.) But you can locate or create spaces that arouse your senses and put you in a writing mood for various tasks.

Zoe’s 5 Best Writing Spaces

Office Desk

Office Desk

  1. Office desk. No worry about the distracting view I face. I usually work here before dawn. Logos is installed on my desktop Mac.

Here, I study the Bible, pray, and write Bible lessons I use for teaching and speaking.

This spiritual space focuses my writing on God’s Word.

Office Reclining Chair

Office Reclining Chair

  1. Office reclining chair. It’s in a corner away from the windows near the fireplace. The light from a single lampstand gives me a sense of being in a smaller, less formal space.

Here, I abandon my computers. I seek God on writing problems, peruse writing craft resources and well-written novels, and brainstorm. I jot the gems I receive in a notebook.

This relaxing space encourages my brain to learn and brainstorm.

Office Table

Office Table

  1. Office Table. It’s mid room, facing the view. It’s loaded for writing: printer, MacBook Air, craft reference books, and a folder of printed-off writing helps.

Here, I sit in a basic straight-backed chair and get down to business. My notebook of jotted tasks, ideas, and reminders accompanies me. I work on blogs, stories, marketing plans, and sales tax reports.

This business space keeps me on task. The view offers quick breaks.

  1. Car. Living in the mountains, I drive about 30 minutes on rural roads to appointments and shopping.

Here, I turn the radio off and use my half hour to work on story problems with God.

  1. Bed. Darkness, the soft tick of a clock, and John next to me calms my senses. God whispers a better phrase or word to use in a paragraph, a better plot point, or items I need to delete from a blog or story.

Here, I relax and allow my Co-author to slip ideas and corrections into my thoughts. 

For better writing, use various spaces for different writing tasks. Click to tweet.

How do you use assorted spaces in your writing experience?

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  1. pamelasthibodeaux

    All great ideas Zoe..thanks for sharing!

  2. marilyn leach

    I love your spaces, and it inspires me to get better organized with my spots. My desk is multipurpose, but having a writer section is a good idea. After a recent program I saw about good health and computer use, I’ve set my lap top up so I have to stand to use it. What a difference, for the good, to do my marketing work. Standing with breaks every half hour, has been an excellent work habit. It presses me to keep my shoulder to the wheel. I still do most of my creative writing sitting down.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Hi Marilyn, my son has one of those stand-high tables in his work offices and really likes it. Like you, I’d prefer to creative writing sitting down.

  3. Karla Reisch Akins

    All I can say is WOW are you ever BLESSED with a gorgeous space! I will not covet. I will not covet. I will not covet…

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I am blessed, Karla, but I spent a lot of years sitting on my bed, working full-time saving up, and using a small room later as an office. When we built our dream house, my husband supported me to design my own office to write full-time as a 9-6 job. I got the fireplace and he got an attached bathroom for his smaller office that is also the “bunk house” for all the grandkids. I hope you’ve grabbed some spaces that inspire you to write and brainstorm.

      • Karla Reisch Akins

        No need to explain at all! You’ve definitely earned it and it’s wonderful! Enjoy it as I’m sure you do. 🙂

  4. Zoe M. McCarthy

    I do enjoy it, Karla. I do. I do.

  5. Cynthia A. Lovely

    Great post and you have a lovely office!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thank you, Cynthia. Since I wrote this, I’ve been more aware how I leave my table and go to my chair to think, peruse a book for information, or brainstorm.

  6. Jane Foard Thompson

    I love all your spaces and had to work not to get envious when I saw them in person. I can’t complain because I have a beautiful mahogany work station given by another writer who was downsizing. I share the space with my husband, so that means only real writing when he isn’t home, but that isn’t usually a problem. My challenge since hip surgery is being able to sit in my chair. I have three two cushions in the seat to give me a less painful angle. For some reason, I can’t get my brain into gear anywhere else. I’ve tried sitting outside with my laptop for critiquing, and found changing locations for different tasks certainly helps. Your suggestions are great. Once again you’re helping me be more intentional about my writing, in all aspects. Thank you.

  7. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Hi Jane, I hope the healing of your hip is progressing. I can’t imagine all the problems of breaking a hip. Take care.

  8. Susan J. Reinhardt

    I’m blessed to have a quiet office, but it’s not nearly as neat as yours. 🙂

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Susan, I just realized quiet is in all my writing spaces.

  9. Rick Barry

    Enjoyed this peek behind the creative scenes, Zoe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Rick, I’d love to hear about the spaces others use for different tasks behind their creative writing moments.

  10. Cecelia Lester

    My two places to write are my writing room, crowded, and on my couch in the living room. I started out using my kitchen table. I had to clear it off when it came time to fix a meal.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Cecelia, I can understand why you moved from your kitchen table. I like to be able to return to what I’ve been working on in my office. I do have to clean it up now and then. :0)

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