Furry Writers' Guild Forum

On the Benefits of Creating a Space for Writing

So I haven’t used the forums in a while due to life being a little bit hectic, but I’d like to pose this topic as it’s very interesting how much more productive I am with writing when I’m within a set space I’ve set up for that purpose. Now for me, this isn’t a physical spot in my apartment so much as it’s a Chromebook I have designated for writing and writing only. It starts up fast enough that I can’t get distracted with other things and I purposely keep certain programs off of it so that I can trick my brain into realizing that when I turn it on, it’s writing time.

How do you fine folks organize your space for writing? Is there a special ritual you have to do to get ready for a particularly long writing stint?

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I’ve spent a lot of time and energy thinking about this over the years, honestly.

I don’t have a particular physical space, either, but I definitely create a virtual one. I’ve tried a lot of different things to help keep me focused or to help get me in the right mindset, but in the end, the core thing I came down to was ensuring that my writing setup provided as little friction as possible:

  • I should be able to have all of my notes at my fingertips when working on a story
  • If it’s a chapter of something larger or a story within a larger world, I should also have access to those as well
  • I work on a dark screen where everything’s the same color and there are no windows
  • Research should always be one tab away, and never any more

…and so on.

I think the ideal writing state for me is, if I’m honest, a mild state of dissociation. Sometimes it’s a flow state, but honestly, it’s often just sort of trying to get to a point where I forget that I’m a person and instead become Something That Writes, whether it’s a machine or a creature or whatever. It’s such a vague feeling that I can’t really put it into words, I guess :smiley:

If there were anything I’d add beyond the simple mechanics, it’s that even when I’m not sitting in front of that screen, I can still be writing. I’ve got a movement disorder that means that I can’t sit at my screen for more than an hour at a time, usually, so I’ve learned that I get as good of writing done while pacing as I do while at the keyboard.


Hey sorry for the late reply, but thank you so much for responding! I’m going to use some of your suggestions like having no other windows open and having research already pulled up to better help me focus. And I too will sometimes write out scenes in my head before I get a chance to write it all down when I get home. The trick for me is remembering all the details I came up with in the moment if it’s a decent amount of time between planning it out and actually getting it onto the page.

Hey Makyo, is that Visual Code I see in your screenshot? Do you use anything special with it specifically for writing, such as extensions? It looks like it could be a good, simple solution. Especially in Zen mode.

It’s Atom, which is fairly similar! I don’t have too many extensions that are of particular use for just writing, though, so I imagine my workflow would be the same in VSCode as it is in Atom, I just haven’t quite had the time to investigate switching.

Since it’s still somewhat on topic, my writing setup is literally https://writing.drab-makyo.com. The site is based completely on a collection of Markdown files, and anything I write in there is automatically visible on the site (e.g: the file in the editor is here) as soon as I commit. It gets me everything I need out for working on a set of normal files, distributed and versioned backups, and web publishing. Same thing powers most of my projects, including [a][s] and Hybrid.

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I actually set up a separate space for writing, since sitting at my desktop allowed me too many distractions. I got a cheaper laptop and limited the software on it, and set it up in a different room. Even though the setup is probably worse, ergonomically, I don’t have the same distractions and seem to be able to get into writing mode more easily and stay in it longer.


Same here! I’ve found that having something that is specifically for writing and nothing else has tricked my brain into allowing me to write with it more efficiently than my laptop. Too many distractions on my laptop to keep me from doing the writing I want to do.

I’m kinda weird - space doesn’t matter to me, but the computer does? I don’t know, there’s something about the old Lenovo T-series computers that feel right when I type. It’s weird. Does anyone else feel that way?

I also like listening to airy music, like jazz. Like if people are talking it becomes a challenge.

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I’m trying to make a specific space for writing to help my focus issues (of which I have many). I’m looking into getting a laptop instead of writing on my desktop computer, both to help write on the go and to distance myself from games and other distractions.

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Update, I have obtained a laptop for writing. Has it helped? ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Not really, but it does give me more versatility which I enjoy. I have some other issues I need to handle before any tool will really be good for me.

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Sometimes the versatility can give that extra little push to get you writing, but I understand needing to take care of other stuff first. Hope that you can get it sorted and make those strides toward better habits!

Ok, first, sorry I bumped this up from awhile back, but oh my GOSH.

I have a number of methods I use to corral myself into that space. Otherwise I’m terribly flighty. I have to do this with practicing/writing music, too.

First, I keep these tiny books near my most comfortable chair. They are the Golden Nature Guides. There are lots and lots of these obscenely charming pocket books, but I only have Birds, Trees, Weeds, Flowers, Weather, and Rocks & Minerals. I use these to research the aforementioned things, when I need to reference somethin’. I also keep an enormous dictionary nearby. I think it’s one of those Webster ones. It’s huge and it has tons and tons of rad names towards the end.

Second, I have no internet connection and no smartphone (currently I’m am writing this at work). I have a TV, and I have a PS3. Already the TV and the console proves more than a formidable distraction. In fact, I should probably get rid of the TV.

Lastly, I have mood lights. I am sorry, but I really do have two of them. One of them is one of those scented wax warmers that you get at WalMart. I got a limited scent called Stevie Nicks. You can’t get it at WalMart. My sister-in-law found it and she hooked me up!

Nothing wrong with mood lightning! You’re far more disciplined in many areas here than I am.

What I am trying to do now is do a little writing every day. Five minutes, which I’ll soon push up to ten and so on, to help build a habit and give my brain a groove to slip into.

I have an app that really helps me, Freedom.to. It prevents me from getting distracted.

But I am a firm believer in “priming,” and I do want to get something more ritualistic so I can prime my brain better.