Facing a new wave of lockdowns marks another bleak period for freelancers. Writers, however mostly are introverts who prefer to stay at home writing while munching their favorite snacks, are no exception. The impact of COVID-19, on my personal life, is tangible. I feel a lack of creativity that pushes me away from writing or doing anything creative like painting or playing with my polymer clays. However, I was aware that I can't be stuck in that vicious cycle of waking up late, eating, and doing nothing but cuddling my cats. So, I figured out some tips that I thought may be helpful for Creative writing during COVID-19 that may be useful for not just writers but for anyone who has to work at home.
1. Create a strong visual workplace
Either you work in the corner of your bedroom like me or you are lucky enough to have a separate room as your office, one thing you need to consider to design it as pleasantly as possible. You'll likely spend many hours in your new home office, so don't be stingy on space. Find the best room or corner possible with windows and decorate it as well as you can. Also, I make sure my computer is functioning properly and I have all the tools I need nearby such as a headset, camera, printer, etc. To know more about how to decorate your writer's corner, you can check here. How to do it?
1) Pick a place you like the most:
Space: Don't squish a tiny desk into a windowless closet to preserve the guest room or the space for the useless shelf. Pick and own that corner. Your Workspace Options can be a spare corner, dining room, desks in kitchens, extra bedroom, converted garage, basement, attic space, outside structures like shared spaces in condos or garden or rooftop.
Sound: Consider the traffic flow if you live in the city center like me and your ability to tolerate distractions. Do you work best in highly active and noisy places, or should your office be in a quiet space? If you're teaching like me or having lots of online meetings, a private space that's quiet is a must.
Light: Make sure you have enough light. I live on the 35th floor and here in Bangkok, days can be extremely bright. I personally don't like too much light so I close the curtains during the day to avoid heat or extreme sunlight and use an interior light. But I make sure I have access to the window so I can take a look outside once in a while and feel alive.
2) Choose Function over Form:
If like me, you are compulsive art supplies, books, and stationery shoppers, then space and shelves could mean a lot to you. Since I have to spend most of my days in the corner of my bedroom, I reorganized my desk and corner shelves the way that should serve me, not the other way around. However, I consider the beauty of my space as a part of my productivity, yet my workflow and what items I need at my fingertips are where I needed and if I needed something after reorganizing what I had, I looked for pieces that are both beautiful and functional.
3) Chair is your throne. Choose it wisely.
Sometimes, I spend hours parked in my chair but I don't feel physically exhausted as I chose a chair that is not only beautiful but, ergonomically correct, a comfortable seat is worth every dime. Don't just pick a chair and go for it. Your butt worth a couple of dimes investment.
4) Colors: Make it feel better, make it homey
The color of the walls and your room has a psychological impact on you. If there's a possibility for you, unlike me as I rent this place, change the color of the walls the color that impacts your mood positively. You can check how colors impact your mood here. But if you can't color the walls or the floor, you can invest in changing the color of your table, curtains, or adding a mat to the floor or even a comfy blanket on your chair with the color scheme that makes you feel better. This is what I did.
Many home offices don't have enough space, so using it efficiently is important. For me, I choose a spacious corner in our bedroom and designed a mini room for myself with the shelves I had previously.
Shelves: If you don't have space for flooring shelves, you can choose to hang floating shelves on the walls to get papers and office equipment off the desk. Now, ask yourself are you a stacker or a filer? If you're a stacker, find some nice baskets to control your documents, notes, and papers but if you prefer a clean desktop, pick one drawer for your "to-do" papers. Also, wooden or metal cube storage can be a good alternative to bookshelves because you can pile them the way you like or according to your available space. I bought a small shelf for my table to put my necessary documents and books on it and it cost me only a dollar. I also compile all my necessary cables in a jar and my devices and tools in a drawer in my desk.
Cables: There's not much you can do to make your computer, printer, and phone beautiful, but you can hide ugly cords. Make sure your desk is close to outlets and easy to access if you need to unplug. Also, you can put the cords into a desk grommet, or tame the cord mess on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or wire organizers, or whatever similar you can find around the house like pipe cleaners.
Well, what inspires you to write? or to work generally apart from snacks? For me, plants are a good option or nice lighting and some decorations. My friend, set up a mini-shrine for herself, I hung a few pieces of my own art on the wall, a special photo of me and my husband that motivates me to create, and a couple of plants around the shelves, window edge, and my desk. A print of Paris can channel your inner muse, or a photo of your children might remind you that you're doing it all for them.