Camp NaNo Talk: Creating a Writing Space

Hey Guys,

Another NaNo special from me (can you tell I have many… many… many of these bad boys planned?), this time the focus shifts to ‘creating a writing space’.

But doesn’t that just mean having somewhere to write?

Alas no. Creating a space is no longer about finding a comfy patch on the sofa to sink into and disappear into your literary world. This is NaNo and we have to get a little more serious here.

So what got me thinking… browsing the internet you are bound to find someone moaning- well I found someone. They weren’t reaching their targets and NaNo hasn’t even begun yet so there’s no hope- blah, that’s rubbish and we all know it! Their ‘problem’ was distractions when writing and here we are.

Once my mind started oozing with ideas about this I came up with a few ‘rules’ I like to follow when creating a space to write.

Stay clear of the sofa.

Now, if the only seat in your house is the sofa… write sitting on the toilet.

Sofas are way too comfy, you oozle your way down and surround yourself with pillows until bam! you’re asleep (or at least heading into the foggy mist of drowsiness). Think back to what you have associated with the sofa, most likely, its relaxing sitting, watching TV. It is a place to relax, and your body knows it.

NaNo is not a time to relax.

Desks. Desks. Desks.

You have a desk in your house? Sit at that bugger and write there!

Why? Because throughout school it is engrained into our core that when you want to get some work done, you sit at a desk. For almost 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the first 16-18 years of your life you are sat behind a desk to work- and that’s if you don’t go into an office to work after.

But what if you don’t have a desk? Have you got something you put things on? – That’s a badly worded question… but it does the job guys (because hell we are in NaNo mode!)

Anyway… my point is this, sit yourself somewhere flat (not on your lap!) and write there!

Clear that space!

No one can really work when they are surrounded with empty bottles, empty crisps packets, and stacks of random papers. All of those things will be catching your eye every time you glance away from your screen.

That’s not to say you have to sit in an empty world and only stare at your screen, your eyes would really hurt. But keep it simple, clear away all of clutter and let yourself focus on the story ahead of you.

Hint: Do this once at the beginning of the month, and just do the little tidy at the end of the writing session (so it’s ready for next time!).

It’s not all about where you are!

So you are surrounded by, well, nothing but your writing; but you need to get the space between your ears ready too. A great way to do this is with triggers.

The trigger concept is a well used and has been psychologically supported with hosts of research (look up conditioning and Pavlov). When you always do one thing before you write, it will eventually train you to start writing after you do it.

For me, no matter what the weather is like, it could be the hottest day of the year; but I have to drape my dressing gown over my shoulders before I can start writing. Now this gets interesting in the summer when I’m sweltering but I’m still sat there with a dressing gown draped over my shoulders and the windows open.

So find something a little weird, and train yourself to use it as a trigger!

So, are you going to implement any of these for Camp NaNo? Do you have any tips that didn’t make my list? Pop them in the comments below!


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