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How to Organize Your Writing Space for Maximum Productivity

How to Organize Your Writing Space for Maximum Productivity

If you’ve ever jumped on Pinterest to figure out how to organize your writing space, then you have already had this experience:

Oh em gee, what is this light, bright, white and beautiful room that I can never have for myself??? I had no idea deer antlers could be used to [insert insanely creative idea]! I desperately wish I could refinish an old dresser and turn it into a drawer for holding my disused manuscripts and …

And there’s your problem.

When it comes time to organize your writing space, I realize how tempting it is to go for the eggshell paint, distressed antique store finds and weird little metallic geometric succulent planters (a trend I hate to love and love to hate). But what you really need to do is organize your writing space so you can work in it.

Remember the disused manuscripts? Yeah, that should be your focus here.

So just how do you organize a writing space that works? Here’s how.

Get All of the Thingz Off Your Desk

Yes, it’s fun to Instagram the perfect stack of haughty magazines, leather-bound volumes and weird little metallic geometric succulent planters (sorry, I get stuck on that), but what you really need are some basic supplies … and room enough for all of them.

On my desk, I have:

  1. A computer, duh
  2. My charger (it’s unhappy on the floor in the dog drool)
  3. A box of Kleenex
  4. A glass of water, at least two feet from my computer because I spaz out at least once an hour and don’t want to pay for a new MacBook
  5. A small container containing a pencil, a chapstick and thing my kid made me out of tape … I’m not sure what it is, but it seemed important to her, so I keep it
  6. A notepad

That’s it.

At my office, I have even less – a chapstick and stickie notes.

You’re here to work. Act like it.

Find Another Place for the Thingz That Matter

Now, no one’s asking you to be an ascetic.

Actually, a lot of people are, but I’m not asking you to. However, some healthy minimalism never killed anyone – and it certainly makes it easier to write. If you want to organize your writing space for maximum output, then you need minimum distraction.

So move all of the Thingz that matter somewhere else. Somewhere you feel cozy about, like a counter or a bookshelf (which I use in my office) or a built-in cabinet (at home).

Now you know where they are, but they’re not in your face. Because trust me, when you sit down to write a Blog Post that You Really Really Really Do Not Want to Write, you will be glad you moved your Harry Potter collection and that one book of antique etchings.

If you have Thingz you really care about, great! You can start making a little self-date to go spend time with your Thingz when you’re done working. Wrote 2,000 words? Half an hour of antique etchings!

This is how I get through every single day. (Current motivator: The Mists of Avalon, which I’m reading for the eighth time. Gah it’s sooooo goooood!)

Designate Some Space to Work

When you organize your writing space, leave one side “blank.” Meaning, don’t have anything that lives there. If you have a small stack of this or that on the right side, for instance, leave the left side free for action.

By action, I mean:

  • A coffee cup (two foot rule!) or glass of water
  • Handwritten notes or a journal
  • A paper planner
  • Inspirational or educational reading material (e.g. a book on the craft you’re using while you write)

That way, you’ve already made a space and don’t need to fuss with creating one when you sit down. Trust me, our brains will find any excuse to put off work, so if you organize your writing space so that you don’t have to reorganize, you’ll get lots more done.

That’s it! Got any ideas of your own you care to share?

And now that you’ve organized your space, would you like to learn more about the craft of copywriting itself? Feel free to jump over to the Free Library and get access to more than a dozen worksheets and downloads. Woo!

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