What does writing space even mean?
Rekka was thinking of the topic as describing your physical space, Brian says it’s the metaphysical space.
Rekka and her husband just built a private studio for their creative activities, but right now it’s serving as its own distraction. So is it a successful writing space? Having a dedicated space is not alone enough to “cure” procrastination, distraction, writer’s ‘block’, and other writerly complaints.
If you’re waiting for the ideal place and ideal inspiration, it doesn’t happen. If you create a practice where you are able to switch into writing mode wherever you find yourself with whatever time you have, you will be able to write consistently because you write consistently.
For Rekka, her private space compounds the time she allocates to daily writing. She also enjoys going to a coffee shop full of people and writing, even without headphones (in most cases). The coffee shop is free of “other things” she feels pressure to do (straightening up, unpacking, doing other work).
Brian argues your ability to be distracted wherever you go is the same, whether it’s noise and conversation or to-do list items, but if you’ve trained yourself to write anywhere and anytime, you are better able to. If you can both find a quiet space and train yourself to be focused on writing, you’re a superhero.
Your writing ‘space’ might also be a series of cues that help you find that focused space, like a NASA launch sequence or a Pavlovian trigger. If you rely on less outside elements to create that focused space, the entire world is your writing space and you’re ready to go at any time.
Brian references this interview of George R.R. Martin and Stephen King. He also references Heinlein’s Rules for Authors. He then goes on to suggest freedom.to to force yourself to avoid internet distractions, which he recently started using, or leave your phone in another room and disconnect everything but your word processor application.
Start with the physical space to develop your habits, then work to moving to other tables or rooms to increase your flexibility. If you start to notice that you’re depending on very specific settings and situations.
It’s okay to have a favorite space and conditions, but build your ability to focus wherever you are so that you have unlimited opportunities to write.
Listeners, tell us about your writing spaces. Do you have multiple spaces? Can you write anywhere? Or have you not found your physical OR metaphysical space?