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How Your Environment Affects Your Creativity as a Writer



How Your Environment Affects Your Creativity as a Writer

Photo by Barion McQueen from Pexels

As a writer, you probably have a lot of natural creativity. Maybe it doesn’t take much for your wheels to start turning or for you to come up with a new, exciting idea. However, no matter how creative you are, even the best writers can experience “blocks” sometimes.

While there are plenty of things that can cause creative blocks, you might be surprised to know that your environment could be playing a part. Multiple studies have shown how your environment can impact your mental health, but it’s also important to understand how it can affect your creative flow.

With that, let’s take a closer look at why your environment matters, and how you can create one that stimulates creativity and imagination. By creating a space that works for you, not only will you enjoy your time writing, but you’re likely to come up with more creative ideas along the way.

Why Environment Matters

So, what’s the difference between trying to write in a noisy, crowded coffee shop, on your living room sofa, or in an office space of your own?

Creativity and innovation often require a perfect “blend” of conditions, including the right stimuli, the right space, and the right aesthetic. Environments that bolster creativity tend to focus on things like:

  • Comfort
  • Space
  • Color
  • Lighting

If you aren’t comfortable, you aren’t going to be able to stretch your mind because you’ll be too distracted. Everything from the seating you choose to the brightness of the lighting in your space can impact your productivity and your thought process.

Don’t forget about color. It makes a bigger difference than you might think. Studies on color psychology have shown that certain shades spark creativity and positivity. Choosing the right colors for your writing space can help you feel more optimistic and boost your imaginative flow all at once.

Creating Your Ideal Writing Space

Now that you understand the importance of the right space, what can you do to make sure your dedicated writing environment fosters creativity?

Start by considering your office layout. You don’t necessarily need a big office to bolster creativity, but you should have enough room to move around freely without feeling cramped. The right layout will have specific pathways you can use to move around and will let you access everything you need with ease.

Next, think about your furniture. You don’t have to spend a lot of money buying new items. In fact, repurposing old pieces or finding antique or rustic furniture can boost your creativity. Don’t be afraid to mismatch items as long as it fits your aesthetic. Instead, focus on the comfort of that furniture. It’s probably not a good idea to pick a hard wooden chair that hurts your back or is so uncomfortable to sit on that it distracts you from your writing. Functionality is important.

Finally, let your creativity come through in the way you design and decorate your writing environment.

When it comes to color, choose hues that are known to boost creativity and productivity. Some of the best office colors include:

  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Orange

Obviously, you don’t have to paint your office walls with such bold colors. However, having them accented in different ways can make a difference. Paint one accent wall the color that inspires you the most, and use complementing shades in your decor, such as throw pillows or art pieces.

If you’re trying to tie everything together or looking for a “finishing touch,” consider bringing a live plant or two into your writing environment. Indoor plants have many mental and physical health benefits, and one study found that they can boost creativity by up to 15%.

Ultimately, your writing space should be a reflection of your personality and what drives your creativity. There’s no one ideal way to spark creative ideas, so while you can gain inspiration from others, let your own preferences and sense of style come through in your design and decor.

Consider Other Creative Factors

Once you have the ideal writing environment in place, consider other factors that could be impacting your creativity. It can take some time to get used to a specific environment if it’s new, so try things like writing exercises that are designed to improve your natural flow, and use them as a “warm-up” activity.

Or, utilize techniques like mind-mapping to help you through the writing process. You can write down a few basic ideas and use your mind map to hone in on the best ones, fleshing them out until more words start to flow automatically and you get into a rhythm with things.

Keep in mind that it can also be beneficial to escape your environment from time to time. No matter how much it speaks to you or how much creativity it usually sparks, staying in one place for long periods of time can start to feel uninspiring, and may even stifle your process.

If you really want to keep your creativity flowing freely, step away from your work for a while. One of the best things you can do is to spend time outside in nature. It’s a natural stress-reducer and can help to boost your energy and your focus.

You might also find that doing “nothing” can inspire fresh ideas and help you return to your writing space with gusto. Things like watching television or movies can help you fight off lazy writing and give you ideas for fresh stories or characters. So, while having the ideal writing space is important, it’s just as essential to step away from it once in a while to experience different scenery.

There can be a lot of pressure on writers to stay creative and come up with new ideas all the time. Combatting that with a strong creative writing space makes it easier to meet deadlines, keep a story going, or develop something/someone new within your work. Keep these ideas in mind to not only remember how your environment affects your creativity as a writer, but what you can do to make sure your personal environment is fueling your imagination.

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