One of the things I’ve noticed is absolutely vital to my success during NaNo is having a particular space set aside for actually writing. Part of this likely has to do with the mindset of knowing that space is set aside for writing and that it’s not sharing space with half a dozen other things. Much like when you need a child to sleep, having a particular routine or space for them to do so can make it easier for your mind to transition from the day-job into the writing career.
For me, part of NaNo Prep is always prepping my space. This means cleaning out my desk space, tossing old papers and generally cleaning up the area. Since this is the last full week of October before NaNoWriMo starts, that was this week’s big goal.
This year however, I’d been forced to get a new desk as my old one had developed a very serious tilt to it, among other problems (chief among them being lack of space). Although I’ve had my new desk for close to three months now, it had none the less gotten cluttered with other things, so as per usual NaNo Prep, it was time to clean out and get ready.
Cleaning off the top so I had space to make notes was a big priority, as was putting all of the spare notebooks back in their appropriate folders. We’re guessing the desk I have is somewhere around the 1970’s era, so my monitor doesn’t actually fit in the space where it should go (hence why it sits to one side). Thankfully the cubbies on the side provide plenty of storage for the smaller idea notebooks, my graphics tablet, headphone case and yes, the keys for locking my desk up and protecting the computer from the cats. I also have a giant notepad which functions as my mousepad for those moments when I need to take a quick note.
With the top of the desk cleared, it was time to oil and polish the wood. With the age of the desk, I want to preserve it, so I spent a little extra time caring for the wood. (As a side project, since one of the drawers has had its knobs replaced by previous owners and no longer matches the rest of the fixtures, I eventually want to replace all of them and make them all match again).
Once the rest of the desk had been cared for, it was time to move on to the floor surrounding the desk. It’s on carpeting and I have a long hair cat who loves to sit under the desk when I’m working, so that meant some heavy-duty vacuuming. I also tucked a towel underneath since I know if there’s a towel on the floor, my kitty will inevitably decide to lay on it.
To make it feel like a proper writing space, a few small items do live on the top of my desk, such as my library books, a notebook for tracking wordcounts and my planner. Normally I also have a pen and a pad of sticky notes.
With the last big things out of the way for me, I’m more excited than ever to start NaNo. What about you? What does your writing space look like?