Fiction Writing Tip #1

Design a writing space that fosters creativity.

If you’re like me, then anything cluttering your desk ends up cluttering your writing. I’m particular that way. Messes mess me up, and I can’t afford to be messed with when I’m working to meet a deadline.

I can’t even have organized piles sitting on the shelf behind me. Seriously. They whisper annoyingly in my ear like a 5th-grade boy during Social Studies. Piles need to be filed and diminished, and to-do lists need to be shredded or at least hidden in the laundry room under some dirty towels. My Type A brain will hone in on any unfinished task, fire precious missiles of energy toward it, and never actually get to the business of creating.

My calendar also needs to be closed and put away.

Then, only then, can I write.

You may be different. A good friend of mine insists that being submerged in books and piles of paraphernalia is the only way his mind loosens up on the page.

To each his own.

But I can’t imagine. Literally. The very thought of it gives me writer’s block.

(A quick addendum: I do tend to cover my neat space with choir rosters, maps, chapter outlines, pictures, character backstories, and whatever else it is I need in the moment to keep my fictional world organized. Bulletin boards and cookbook holders – Seriously, try it. – can be very helpful in keeping all of this necessary clutter at eye level and away from your elbows if, you know, you’re weird about stuff like that like me.) 

I give you, The Creative Space of Schuermann, a still-life.