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Productive writing has more to do with mindset than anything else. That said, it helps to have a few essentials in your home and to carry around.
Just like any human being, I can have a tough time remaining focused on the tasks at hand. It’s easy for me to get distracted from my writing.
So, in the last few month, I began making some incremental changes to secure a more productive writing environment at home and anywhere I go.
Let’s not waste another moment and dive in!
Creating a Productive Writing Environment at Home
There are a few things I do daily to help keep my apartment ready for productive writing. Keep in mind these things may vary for you. Everyone is different, but hopefully you can take what I do and twist it into something worthwhile for yourself!
01. A Clean Home Makes For a More Productive Writing Space
This may come off as obvious, but I know I struggle with this a lot. So, I thought I’d share my techniques for keeping a clean home. It starts with simply picking up after myself and guests.
Even when I’m tired and just want to watch Netflix, I have made a habit of picking up my most lived-in areas. Some easy hacks are – if a meal you’re making requires wait times – to clean your dishes while you cook. It knocks it out, so you don’t have to try and do it with a full belly.
I also love to sit on my couch curled up in a blanket or three as I watch TV. I now have a habit of folding each blanket when I get up, instead of leaving it crumpled on the couch.
For deep cleaning, I like to wipe down counters and vacuum at least once if not twice a week. I have horrible allergies, and if I am even remotely stuffy, I won’t want to write. Keeping pet hair and dust out of the air is easy with these really great, organic products:
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, Lemon Verbena, 16 fl oz, 3 ct – I like to use this in my kitchen and bathroom, as well as on my windows. Through this link, you can actually buy it in bulk, which is a lot better than the prices at, say, Target.
- Puracy Natural Carpet Cleaner Detergent, 4X Professional Pet Stain Remover & Deodorizer, 25 Ounce – Like I said before, I have pets (three rabbits and a cat). So, potty accidents are bound to happen. I keep a couple bottles of this pet cleaner on hand at all times. It’s a little pricey, but I like knowing my bunnies can still hop around without breathing in toxic fumes.
- Good Natured Brand The Best All-Natural Pet-Friendly Eco-friendly Saving Grace Carpet & Upholstery Deodorizer, 32 oz. – Though the Puracy carpet cleaner does a good job with pet smells, I like to have a bag of this deodorizer for special circumstances. Also, if you just want to give your home a fresh smell for a few days, you can sprinkle it over your carpet, let it sit for an hour, and then vacuum it up.
In combination, you can use these three products to keep a clean home easily and efficiently. I honestly write so much better when there isn’t any clutter or weird smells from the dishes or pet boxes.
02. The Notebook You Use Makes a Difference in Productive Writing
As a writer, I value my notebooks more than anything. Nine times out of ten, they are where my book ideas flourish. I take pride in the notebooks I use, always going for the best quality.
I like my notebooks to last, so years from now, I can look back for ideas. I have a couple favorites – leather-bound notebooks an flat-lay notebooks.
With leather notebooks, like this amazing one, I find myself feeling more put together and sophisticated. It may sound lame, but it really does, and it reflects in my writing. I almost always end up writing in cursive, and I almost always channel my inner 1800s writer.
The type of notebook you use influences your writing. You should keep that in mind when you go to choose one. I personally think every writer should have a notebook. It can be for jotting down ideas, taking notes, or anything you want. That’s the glory of blank pages.
Flat-lay notebooks are exactly what they sound like. The leather notebooks I mentioned above is actually a flat-lay. However, if leather isn’t your style, these are a few great flat-lay notebooks:
- 2 Pack Luxury Notebook Journal – 130 Perforated Pages – Thick Paper (120 gsm) – 180° Lay Flat Design – 2 Bookmarks – Elastic Closure – Back Pocket, Set of 2, Steel Grey, Softcover (College ruled) – I really love these. They are similar to the popular Moleskin notebooks but half the price.
- Studio Oh! Hardcover Medium Coptic-Bound Journal Available in 10 Designs, Stacy H. Kim, Silver Flowers on Mint – If you are looking for something with a bit more character, these notebooks come in some really cute designs.
- Eccolo World Traveler Desk Size Journal, 256 Lined Page Notebook, 8-x-10-inch, Grey Bee – This is actually an “Oprah’s Choice” journal. It’s the perfect size for sitting on your desk as you work on your laptop. Plus, I love the bumblebee design.
No matter which notebook you choose, you should make sure it’s one that will make you want to write in it. Having a notebook is about instigating your writing productivity – not detracting it.
Taking Productive Writing on the Road
Of course, having a notebook for at home is great. However, it is also a good idea to have one designated for traveling with you. Sometimes, I even carry more than one. One might be designated toward being a catchall for ideas and thoughts, while another might be geared specifically to stories.
There are a couple other things that will make a difference while on the road, in regard to your writing productivity.
01. Productive Writing on the Road Begins with a Bag for All Your Devices
Having a proper bag that makes accessing your writing tools and devices easy is essential. I took the liberty of searching for some great laptop bags and backpacks that will do the trick.
I, personally, really love this bag. Not only is it a laptop bag, so it protects your expensive devices while traveling, but it also converts into a backpack. That way, when your shoulder simply can’t handle the weight of walking around with your bag all day, you can shift the weight to both shoulders. It’s also small enough to take on a plane with you.
If you’re looking for more of a vintage-look alternative that’s also waterproof (yes, please), then try this leather messenger bag. It fits laptops up to 15 inches, and it has plenty of room for your notebook and extra writing utensils. Much like the first bag, it’s great for traveling, although it does lack the adaptability of the first bag to also be a backpack.
Finally, if you’re a female looking for something a bit more classic and nice, try this multi-pocket work tote. While you will pay a pretty penny for it, this bag has plenty of room for all your essentials without sacrificing the look and feel of a really nice bag.
02. These Days, Productive Writing Can Be Tough Without a Great Laptop.
Having a laptop to take along with you on your travels is a great idea. There are some affordable alternatives to higher-end laptops that are perfectly suitable for installing Microsoft Word and getting the job done.
I will say I’ve had better luck with more compact laptops. I have worked with both PC and MAC models, and I have had success with both. It really comes down to the experience you’re looking for.
I typically recommend a MAC for writers. This is because they’re so simple to use, lightweight, and give you everything you need. That being said, they are extraordinarily expensive. They aren’t budget friendly. So, if you’re looking for something that won’t be too much of a long-term investment, then a MAC won’t be for you.
Below I have provided my favorite MAC laptop and my favorite PC laptop. If anything, these could give you an idea of what you’re looking for, so you can narrow your search and price range.
Both are great little computers. I realize this isn’t an in-depth review. If you’re in need of one, comment on this post. I’d be happy to do some research and do a comparison post!
Putting the Moving Pieces Together for an Ultimate Productive Writing Experience
I hope that the few suggestions I gave you in this article helped. At the end of the day, productive writing is a muscle. You have to work to keep your life in some kind of order, so you can better make time for writing.
This could mean you do something as simple as clean the dishes. It could also mean that you begin a savings account for your dream laptop. Whatever you choose, do it because you know it will enhance your writing experience.
Most importantly, remember that mindset is a big part of productive writing. You have to remain motivated. That means eliminating distractions, sitting down, and simply getting the words out. For that, you need nothing more than a pen or pencil and some paper.
It doesn’t require a ton to be more productive. In fact, many of the items I mentioned aren’t even necessary. Sure, they might make life easier, but you don’t need them to write a great story.