From beds to desks to dining tables, many of us have no choice but to write from home for the immediate future. Fear not! Kristi Stalder is here with us today to teach us how how to make the most of our writing environments — both at home and online.
With all of the social distancing and encouragement to stay home and limit our exposure to crowds, we may experience a slight wrench in our Camp NaNoWriMo plans. Fortunately, we live in a world with the ability to connect virtually and because of this, we are thriving as a community.
During Camp NaNoWriMo, many of us will be writing at home but we can make the best of it by creating a productive writing environment and still have connections with the writing community. While the perfect writing environment isn’t a guarantee that you’ll meet your word count, it certainly has an influence on your creative mindset. We can create a personalized workspace in the comfort of our homes, and have fun while mixing things up!
Online writing communities can help you achieve your goals.
One of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo are the people within the online writing communities. Sharing thoughts, motivation, and inspiration with likeminded writers is what makes me love what I do. It’s by far, the most encouraging and positively influential environment.
I’ve met writers in local workshops, NaNo write-ins, libraries, schools, and coffee shops, and they are still, to this day, great friends of mine. We all share a passion for writing, and this common thread of love knits us together no matter how scary the world becomes.
We all know that writing is HARD. But the writing community helps to push us through the challenges. They show up with us. They write with us. And they share success stories as well as failures, to help us to learn and grow as writers.
If you haven’t already, join a writing group online and you’ll see what I mean. Unwavering support, honest feedback, and meeting new friends are just a few great benefits.
A stimulating environment leads to productivity.
When I write in a café, I enjoy listening to the chatter and laughter of the patrons, and the acoustic melodies coming through the speakers are as smooth as my white-chocolate mocha. Not to mention the sensational aroma of coffee that puts me in a trance, and I am inspired to write for hours.
To replicate this atmosphere, try this to transport your mind:
- If you’re inspired by scents, have a variety of candles burning while you write. I have a coffee scented “writing candle” and when it’s lit, I write and don’t stop. When I blow it out, my writing session is over and I can relax.
- If you’re inspired by music, create a playlist of the relaxing café music (or any genre that awakens your muse), and play it in the background while you hammer out your word count.
- This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Coffee, tea, or any other beverage that strikes your fancy is good for the writer’s soul. Pause, take a sip, and continue writing like water flowing over stones in a creek.
- If scenery inspires you, rearrange your writing space to have plenty of natural light, and change the view to keep your mind fresh. My backyard bistro table now sits in the corner of my living room near a window, overlooking the snow-capped mountains. When the mood strikes and I want to write in the café, I’ll light a few candles, make a cup of coffee, press ‘play’ on the soundtrack, and I’m there.
While the world is on pause and we wait for the pandemic to fizzle out, we can use this time at home to focus, set writing goals, and forge onward.
Be well, good luck, and remember to wash your hands!
(No, seriously, go wash your hands.)
Kristi Stalder is an author, book coach, and creative entrepreneur. She lives in the little farm town of Tonasket, Washington with her kiddos and handsome husband, and she spends her free time working on her adventure fiction novel. She is the author of the senior resource guide, Navigating Assisted Living: The Transition into Senior Living, and children’s book, I Love You More, illustrated by Julie Edwards. For more information, visit www.KristiStalder.com and connect with her on social media!