Whether you consider yourself a blogger, an affiliate marketer, a content marketer, a community manager, or an SEO specialist, you have to accept that you are in the writing business.
All of these roles require considerable time spent on writing.
If you’re “lucky” and you can produce well-written pieces without much effort under most circumstances, good for you.
However, not everyone’s got that talent. Some of us have to work harder than others and can use all the help we can get – that includes having a work space that is conducive to writing as much as is possible.
How To Create The Perfect Writing Space Without Breaking The Bank
Get Your Desk Right
Working at home means working in bed or on the couch, right? That’s what makes it so enticing. Sure you can do that, but be prepared to suffer from back pain – among other types of pain – after a while.
So, get a dedicated work desk. If you’ve got a home office, then you’re good. If not, then try to find a nook where you can set up shop or at least use something like your dining table.
That’s preferable to working in bed, and it doesn’t cost you extra!
Now, if you’re going to buy a dedicated work desk, you can go for the traditional sit-down type, or you can try the standing desks that are popular these days.
For the latter, your local furniture shops should have something in your budget range, but I suggest going to charity or thrift shops where, with a bit of patience, you’ll likely find something cool at a bargain.
If you’re wondering why you should consider a standing desk, then you might want to read this article from the Smithsonian. (In a nutshell, standing desks are supposed to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, among other health issues.)
Last, but definitely not the least, go DIY. Aside from the standing desks I mentioned, this is probably the cheapest route and is a great way to get your blood flowing. Here’s a great list of easy and cheap DIY desks.
Whatever desk you go for, remember to pick something that you feel most comfortable with. Else, your workstation won’t be conducive to writing and you’ll just be wasting your money.
Have Proper Lighting
It’s all about the lighting. Not only does lighting affect your eyesight, it can also make the difference between having a headache (literally) day in and day out.
There’s no need to further expound on how essential lighting is to a writing-conducive workplace, is there? You need to see to write. Period.
The cheapest – and best – kind of lighting is natural sunlight. So, if you’re setting up a home office, make sure you’ve got as much window space as possible. If you have to pick a nook, find a corner in the house with a window.
If you can’t manage to find a place that gets natural daylight, then the next best option is to combine general lighting and task lighting.
The former is also known as ambient or overhead lighting and is what we normally use to light up any room – a fluorescent lamp in the ceiling or a standing floor lamp, for example.
The latter is used to enhance illuminance and contrast for specific activities such as – you guessed it – writing/reading.
So, how do you combine both in an efficient and cost effective way?
Make use of what you already have for overhead lighting, whether it’s a ceiling light or a floor lamp. For task lighting, you might want to pay a bit more attention since it fine tunes the kind of light you work with.
There are many kinds of lamps for this purpose, and you may be tempted by the more expensive types, but you don’t really have to pay much.
The most important thing is that you get a lamp that will allow you to work free of glare and yet is bright enough so you can see comfortably without straining your eyes.
Movable lamps like goose-neck and swing-arm lamps are affordable and get the job done. Check out IKEA’s catalog for starters.
But that’s such a generic word, you may think.
Sure, but if you take a look at your workspace and analyze it objectively, you might find that there are certain things you can do to make it more conducive to writing.
You don’t need to have rows of file cabinets, stacks of folders, and a color coding scheme. You just need to find a way to arrange your workspace so as to streamline your workflow.
The simplest and most effective example I can give you is this: make sure everything you use most is always within arm’s reach.
My list (laptop is a given):
- Water bottle
- Coffee mug
- Pen and paper/notepad
I’m easy that way. I don’t need much, but I make sure these things are always nearby so I don’t get distracted by having to get up all the time. It also helps clear the desk of clutter since only the bare essentials are within reach.
Why not make your own list and try this out?
Don’t Forget Those Additional “Touches”
This may very well be the most important factor of all.
Of course, ergonomics and organization are essential, but I’ve found that it’s the little things that usually give me that teeny tiny push that gets me across the line between “good” to “awesome”.
It’s easy to sit down and write, but it’s not always an easy path to get in the “zone”, where inspiration just hits you. And that’s when the details matter.
Understandably, these details will be different for each of us. For me, there is one major thing: scent.
I like the room to smell all nice and fresh when I work (or at any time for that matter). For some reason, this just makes me feel more inclined to work. I have all sorts of essential oils and a burner as well as a diffuser. I never run out of vanilla and lavender.
But that’s just me. For some, it may be fresh flowers. For others, it could be photos of special people (or pets).
What is it for you?
What I mentioned above are simple things you can do to make every working hour more pleasant.
Whether you’re already having a good day or you’re experiencing a dry spell, a workspace that you’ve designed for your comfort will have a massive impact on your work.
And remember, you don’t have to go all designer-y and spend tons of money to have a good-looking space.
Stay true to your style and shop around for affordable options. You might even get stuff for free if you just look around the house or visit your parents’ attic. 😉