Why WHERE matters when you write

Isn’t it so great that you can work from anywhere?

You love working remotely. You have a lot more flexibility. You can roll out of bed and into your work space.

As I write this, I’m only wearing underwear. I call it “the professional baby” because I look like I’m in a diaper.

But I’ve been working from home for a whole year, and I firmly believe that WHERE you work matters.

It’s not so much the town or city, but the workspace. If you work from home– even if you only do it occasionally– you need a space to call your own.

Kitchen table doesn’t count.

Whackadoodle #7: Why your WHERE matters when you write

You hear a lot of legends about how people get things done.

They wrote their bestseller from the belly of a ship! They invented a new technology from a prison cell! They wrote a business plan on a coffee receipt!

Yeah, these legends are fun, but they don’t reflect reality. When most of us sit down to get stuff done, we go for our computers.

Some of us like some noise around us (i.e. music playing or a coffee shop) while others want silence. No matter what you like, you need a space that makes you feel good. And before you exclaim that you can work from anywhere, realize that I thought so too.

…until I spent six months working at a $40 desk from Walmart.

And I’m not alone. My friend Joel Klettke recently moved to New Zealand, and here’s what he wrote in an email to me about his new situation:

I struggled – really struggled – my first month here. I couldn’t find my focus. My back and shoulders ached as I hunched over a kitchen table instead of my absurdly comfortable setup at home (standing desk included).

Joel is living proof that working at the kitchen table is far from a comfy setup.

Here’s how to build a workspace that enhances productivity:

  • Invest in decent furniture – I am not rich, but I have invested a substantial amount of $$$ in office furniture. I have a beautiful, vintage desk, and a high quality office chair to support my back. I have this chair (found on Craiglist), and my boyfriend swears by this one.
  • Make a corner or have a room – If you’re lucky enough to have an office, I hate you. Just kidding. You’re so lucky! Living in Silicon Valley is expensive, and one of the compromises we made when moving here was to get a one bedroom apartment so we could save some cash. As a result, I have an office corner, as opposed to a full room. Even still, I’ve made this corner into a nook, and it makes me feel like I have a place to focus on writing.
  • Hang art that feels like you – You need to surround yourself with images that make you feel good, so hang art that inspires you. I recommend perusing Etsy for inspiring images. I just bought myself this giant map canvas to hang behind my desk.
  • Buy solutions – My desk is covered in trash (receipts, clothing tags, tupperware). I need solutions so I can store papers and throw things away. I need pens that actually write. Yes, this is your excuse to head to The Container Store right now. GO.

These are small things, and they’re not rocket science. They make a huge difference, though. As someone who worked on a plastic desk for 6 months, I know.

I assure you, friend, WHERE matters.

Happy writing & editing. Until next whackadoodle.

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