Journaling is a powerful tool. It can unleash creativity, develop writing styles, and aid with managing mental health. However, just like any other form of writing, if you want to get the most out of your journaling activities, it’s important to write in an area that is conducive to your needs. Nevertheless, the pandemic has left many individuals cut off from coffee shops and social settings, leaving them struggling to compose their thoughts in cramped and shared spaces on the homefront.
If you’ve found that your journaling has suffered due to the ongoing circumstances, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here are a few suggestions to help you create a refreshing and inspiring journaling space right in your own home.
Choose a Dedicated Space
The first thing that you should do is choose a space that can consistently be dedicated to writing. This can be anything from repurposing a spare bedroom to renovating an old closet.
The particular space that you choose doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you find an area that you can use for writing consistently. In other words, it shouldn’t be the kitchen table or the couch in the living room.
In addition, you want to make sure that the space is clean. If you have to remodel, start by ensuring that the area is free of any harmful substances, like lead paint, mold, or asbestos. These are all often found in older homes and can cause any number of illnesses. Then clean the area and consider getting items such as an air purifier, space heater, or humidifier. After all, you don’t want to compromise your physical health while you tend to your mental health.
Having a dedicated, clean area for writing doesn’t just give you a space to decorate and call your own. It also provides a sense of structure for you to use as you create.
Consider Different Themes
Once you have a space selected, it’s time to consider what direction you want to go as you personalize said space for creativity and inspiration. The good news is, there isn’t a strict formula for doing this. On the contrary, every writer’s inspirational needs are different.
A wise place to start is by asking yourself what you need to reach that still point where you can focus, think, and write. Do you need a calm, peaceful area? Do you need music blaring or water running? Do certain smells help you focus?
Along with considering your personal proclivities, you can also take into account different aesthetic styles. Once again, this isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of situation. For instance, one person may prefer a sleek, clean minimalistic feel for their journaling space. The next person could love a warm, inviting hygge vibe that is defined by studied carelessness and too many pillows.
Take some time to consider your space and your interests so that you can create a solid theme for your journaling environment.
Focus on Comfort
Once you have your space and theme set, you can begin to work on the details. The first one that you should address is comfort. If it’s too cold, it can make it hard to focus, a sore back can interrupt a beautiful stream of writing, and so on.
When it comes to comfort, there are a few primary things to focus on. For instance, you’re going to want a writing surface (i.e. a desk or table) and a seat that are ergonomically designed. Additionally, consider the temperature of the room. Do you need an A/C unit in the window or a space heater in the corner?
Set the Atmosphere
Lighting is another critical element for writing. Two things must be considered here. First, you need enough light to see what you’re doing. This is especially true if you’re writing with a pen and paper.
Second, try to use your lighting to set the mood. For instance, look for warm lightbulbs. Get a few candles, too. Try to maximize any natural light your space may have, as well, by leaving windows uncovered and possibly even hanging a mirror on the wall.
Along with lighting, you should also look for ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your space. This can be through using an essential oil diffuser, incense, or even a scented candle.
Choose Inspiring Decor
There are many ways to decorate your inspiring space thoughtfully. This is true whether you’re working with a large, spacious area and plenty of resources or a small space and a tiny budget. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to put some thought into the decor that you choose. A few suggestions that work in most spaces include:
- Painting purposefully: Choose colors to inspire you as you decorate, such as a cool blue, an exciting yellow, or an inspiring red.
- Adding foliage: Greenery is always a great way to spruce up the positivity in a space. It introduces an outdoor, natural feel that can uplift spirits and bring a sense of clarity and perspective.
- Repurposing items: If you’re on a tight budget, look for ways to repurpose items from the thrift store or reuse something you already have. This automatically introduces a spark of creativity into your writing space.
All of these are general suggestions. The truth is, though, if you want to be inspired by your space, every item that it holds should speak to you intimately and purposefully.
Once you have your space chosen, decorated, and optimized for inspiration, it’s time to figure out how to keep it that way.
The best way that you can do this is by regularly organizing your space. For example, schedule regular times to clean and declutter the area so that there are minimal distractions when you go to write. Make sure that everything that belongs in your space has a home and that it’s put back where it belongs.
By staying organized, your space can remain a haven of inspiration every time you find the time to retreat there to write.
Fighting to Journal
It’s easy to slack on journaling during stressful times. However, those are precisely the times when writing down your thoughts and feelings are the most important.
The pandemic may have created a sense of apathy as you spend endless time trapped at home. But that doesn’t mean you have to surrender to the pressure. Instead, fight back against the indifference by creating a space dedicated to inspiring your writing throughout the upcoming year.
Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics and spends her free time gardening.