Recently, I was sitting at my desk staring at the pictures and candles and books all around me, and I realized that the workspace I’ve created is the perfect workspace for me. Why? Because I know what kind of writer I am and what tools I need around me to get in the writing mood. This got me thinking that it’s not just about whether you’re a planner or a pantser. It’s also about your lifestyle and what sort of setting makes you feel creative.
Not only am I a planner (which means I thrive when surrounded by notecards and colored pens), but I am also in it for the cozy aesthetic. I like being surrounded by warmth, personalized paraphernalia, and light that doesn’t make my eyes hurt. Knowing these things about myself and my ideal writing life has helped me create a workspace that fulfills me and gets me in the writing mood every time.
Breaking it Down
There are two types of writers that everyone always talks about: planners and pantsers. These labels refer to how you write—your process—and although I’m a firm believer that it’s a sliding scale, knowing which type you embody more can be a helpful tool in building a fulfilling writing life.
There are also two types of writer aesthetics or settings: cozy and on-the-go. This, too, is a sliding scale, but knowing whether you are more of a candle and blanket type of writer or travel-mug and laptop type is also a necessary step in creating a writing life that inspires you.
So, what kind of writer are you?
Here’s how this works:
First, identify whether you are more of a planner or a pantser.
- Do you prefer an outline or do you make your stories up as you go?
- Do you need some sort of outline before you begin a draft?
- When you get stuck, do you step back and make a plan or do you plow forward?
Next, identify whether you are more of a cozy or on-the-go writer.
- Is there one place where you’re most productive?
- Do you have a sacred writing space?
- Do you have a dedicated writing time or do you write whenever you find some spare minutes?
Finally, make note of your writing type:
- Cozy planner
- Cozy pantser
- On-the-go planner
- On-the-go pantser
Now, it’s time for a shopping spree!
Now that you know your writing type, it’s time to build an environment that supports your individual needs. Here are some helpful tools, resources, and other writerly things to help you get started. Find the two lists that correspond with your type (ex. Cozy Writers and Planners) and build your dream writing life!
But first, a quick note
There are so many tools out there made to help writers and creatives thrive, but when it comes down to it, all you really need is a pen and some paper. I’ve often found myself loosing sight of the heart of writing—the act of creating that happens between me and the page—because I’m so busy trying to create an aesthetic for myself. Even so, getting clear on the tools and environment you need to get in the right mindset can have a powerful impact on your productivity and sense of fulfillment.
Additionally, as I have said, this is all one giant sliding scale. Every writer is different and every writing life will be different. Let this list be a guide to help you get started and build a writing life that makes you feel alive.
So, without further ado… (drumroll please) the lists!
With Love, Cats, and Coffee 💖,
The Present Active Writer