Ann Arbor based editor and all round creative late Jeannie Ballew once shared her ideas on how to create an ideal creative writing space. Whether you’re writing 1000 words in a blogpost, 140 characters on Twitter or a further 700 on LinkedIn, we’re all looking at getting more creative with our craft! We often miss and underestimate the power of creative writing spaces. Get ready to put on your imaginative hats!
Don’t forget to come along for Peerbagh’s next storytelling workshop for adults on November 17th. It’ll be awesome 🙂
Have you had one of those days where you’re looking at the computer screen and mindlessly pressing the backspace/ delete keys on your keyboard? We all have hopes that the most amazing story will write itself. We also tend to leave things to the very last moment because, honestly, sometimes, we’re just not feeling that inspiration. Multiple coffee cups later, it doesn’t change. And we all go through these listless days. Don’t you?
Now, imagine an ideal creative writing space!
When the deadlines are looming large and our stories are just not working, we all look at what we could do better. A/B testing, coffee breaks, discussions with friends or colleagues and all the tricks that can get us going. We often underestimate the value of creating an ideal space around us, to aid us in being more creative. There are different ways to describe what this ideal space could be, and it is definitely linked to individual inspirations. But to take a comprehensive look at what it entails, here’s something that’s interesting:
Creative space is a concept embracing the mental, physical, and emotional environments within which creativity operates. It can’t be given to you by your manager or spouse – it is something you must carve out and claim for yourself.
Creative space is a concept that is rich in possibilities and opportunities. It is the sum total of what nurtures, supports, inspires and reinforces our creativity. It thus includes ourselves, our families, our fellow workers, our reinforcing memories, our cuing systems, and our favorite places. Examples include: house, office, garden, spouse, children, friends, colleagues and places of recreation.
The definition of creative space becomes more manageable when broken down into:
- The environment
- The interaction between the two
A few things may aim for your attention, “favorite places,” “mental, physical and emotional,” “claim for yourself,” “possibilities and opportunities.”
And now that you let the concept settle in, think about the one or two times that you’ve felt completely at peace with yourself and have enjoyed your creativity high at work. Or at home- wherever you’re wanting to stay on top of your creative writing game. Try and close your eyes and imagine this space. Don’t miss out the details. Visualize your space.
Turns out, we all have our own ideal imaginations. And they may change. We may think of sitting in a crowded cafe in a busy Italian town with small streets. Or sometimes our imaginations are more nature driven, and in peaceful quieter environments. It’s amazing how this exercise can in fact force you to think about what works for you. You can’t always expect to recreate this ideal environment in an office setting, but it’s good to choose elements of it that are important. For instance, if you like writing in large green spaces, think about getting a plant to work. If you like staying quiet, think about booking yourself into a conference room for an hour of undisturbed writing.
Choose the elements that matter and give yourself the permission to do things that may you feel good about yourself and your work. Think about how changes in your environment affect you. Work with yourself to see how you can improve and what you’d like to alter.
Concluding thoughts: Establishing an ideal creative writing space
Learning from our amazing workshop host, late Jeannie Ballew, here are key ideas around making an ideal creative writing space- no matter where you work from:
- Give yourself permission to create something for yourself- you deserve it
- Assess your needs at work or at home. Imagine the details. Think about what works for you!
- Don’t settle for less (just because!)
- Create an internal space that matches your external space
- Set up your own rituals (tea, music, plants, candles etc.) to cue your brain into staying creative
- Invest in learning, meeting people, collaborations, tools, books …anything you may need
What are some of your tips for creating an ideal creative writing space? How do you stay connected with your inner ideas?
Have an inspiring weekend! Don’t forget to think this through 🙂