Do you have a place to be creative?

July 22nd, 2014

After reading Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit,” I have decided to take my creative space seriously. I have one now but it stinks. (See above!) It’s not unattractive, but that’s the problem. When outfitting the space, I made choices thinking how it might look cleaned up for a catalog instead of how it fits me. And that’s kind of anathema to being an artist. As Stephen King says, first drafts happen with the door closed.

I’ve never really had a great writing space. In various homes over the the last 16 years, since I began writing professionally, I have mostly written everywhere except in my desk and chair. I’ve written books on my bed, in delis and coffeeshops, in my easy chair. None of these places are ideal, so what usually happens on extended sessions is that I end up moving every hour.

This inability to find a comfortable spot has hurt my productivity, so I’ve decided to take creative space seriously. Finally.

I read about writer’s spaces. Hemingway has one, King has one. They all do. I’ve known this for a while but I haven’t wanted to spend money to fix it. But now I am serious.

Here’s what I plan to do:

  1. Spend a few hundred dollars on it, if necessary. 
  2. Make the chair very work-comfy: not like an easy chair but ergonomic, with a lower back pad and no way to recline. 
  3. Look for a simple desk, with maybe just four legs and a top. No under-desk drawers so I won’t bang my kneecaps or sit low and then write with arms high like a monkey. 
  4. Get a deep work surface. The screen needs to be further away from my face, and my type size larger. As I write this I have my scale set at 200% and the screen three feet away from my face. This alleviates eye strain from a close up laptop screen and my neck from having to look down.
  5. Back lighting. I don’t want overhead lights or lights in my face. It needs to come from behind me. No facing bright windows. 

According to Twyla, going to the same space every day will make me better. Sounds good to me.

How can you alter your creative space to increase your productivity?

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