The Writer’s Home Office: Setting Goals
for Your Writing Space
By Barbori Garnet,
Setting goals for your home office space first will help you to be more focused and efficient in your writing time. By setting goals such as when and how long you will write for, how often you will tidy and organize your work space, when you will practice reading your writing, and perhaps decide on inviting over others to hear you read your work, will result in spending your time writing and growing in your writing path at your home office.
How much time do you want to spend writing and working away in your space? The answer to this question will be based in part on what your writing goals are – how many words or pages you want to write each day along with how soon you want to complete a story or project – and what your other time commitments are (family, work, volunteer, etc.). Once you know what your current commitments are and what you want to accomplish in your writing, then you will know how much time, and when, to set aside for writing in your home office.
Having decided on your writing time, consider setting aside time to read your work. Reading your own writing out loud is a great way to get familiar with the flow of the words you have written, know what is coming next in the story or chapter, and be comfortable with proper posture whether sitting or standing. Practicing reading your writing will prepare you for both virtual and in-person readings and increase your confidence and success.
Another goal to consider is whether you will invite people over to your writer’s home office, using it as a literary salon. Invite writers as part of a writing group, or special guests who come to hear you read your work. As it is your writing space, it is important to go with what you feel comfortable with and what works best for you.
Setting goals and following through on keeping your writer’s nook organized and tidy will help you to have a place you love to write in. Examples of goals to set include sorting and filing papers at the end of each day/week/month and having a calendar to record deadlines for projects/contests/submissions. It is important to have a place to note things to research/print/ write and to go through bookshelves to ensure that books and notebooks you refer to often are handy and close by. If you have a smaller place in which to write, you may have to get creative with storage solutions to keep your table free of clutter.
In addition to setting aside time to write and organizing your space, think about ways in which you can beautify your work area. Can you place an indoor plant, such as an ivy or peace lily, on a shelf or on the table? Could you treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers once a month? Or perhaps a seasonal wreath on a wall, door, or easel would add just the right touch of color, beauty, and personality. Giving some thought to ways in which to add cheer to your space will result in a more inviting and personal place for you to write in.
Before beginning to write, take the time to set goals for your writing area. Having regular writing and reading times, knowing when and how often to tidy and organize, and adding elements of beauty and brightness to your writer’s home office will make it an oasis where you enjoy writing.
By Barbori Garnet
Opal Writers’ Magazine, November 2020
Barbori Garnet is a Creative Arts professional – writer, artist and musician – based in Calgary, AB. She finds lots of inspiration from and enjoys being in her family’s fruit, vegetable and perennial garden and likes to spend time in the mountains. Barbori has a BFA in Painting & Drawing and an MA Communications in Public Relations.