I’ve spent a lot of time and energy thinking about this over the years, honestly.
I don’t have a particular physical space, either, but I definitely create a virtual one. I’ve tried a lot of different things to help keep me focused or to help get me in the right mindset, but in the end, the core thing I came down to was ensuring that my writing setup provided as little friction as possible:
- I should be able to have all of my notes at my fingertips when working on a story
- If it’s a chapter of something larger or a story within a larger world, I should also have access to those as well
- I work on a dark screen where everything’s the same color and there are no windows
- Research should always be one tab away, and never any more
…and so on.
I think the ideal writing state for me is, if I’m honest, a mild state of dissociation. Sometimes it’s a flow state, but honestly, it’s often just sort of trying to get to a point where I forget that I’m a person and instead become Something That Writes, whether it’s a machine or a creature or whatever. It’s such a vague feeling that I can’t really put it into words, I guess
If there were anything I’d add beyond the simple mechanics, it’s that even when I’m not sitting in front of that screen, I can still be writing. I’ve got a movement disorder that means that I can’t sit at my screen for more than an hour at a time, usually, so I’ve learned that I get as good of writing done while pacing as I do while at the keyboard.