Be Selfish with Your Work Space

You need a dedicated place to do your creative work. Dedicated. This workspace can be a corner, an entire room, and entire floor (and if this is the case, what a lucky duck you are).

We’ve all see this advice before, right? And it makes sense. You need a place with minimal interruptions and something of your own so that you can focus on whatever it is that you do.

But that act of staking out a place can be terrifying.

Opposite of the act of preparing yourself for writing–talking about what you want to create, setting yourself up somewhere, preparing your tools of the trade at the expense of actually creating something–not having your own work space can hinder your work in a similar way. Even if you’re eager to begin to practice your art, if you’re unable to do it due to external elements that are under your control to quell, you’re putting up a road block.

Key to this is communicating to others. You need to tell your family, friends, pets (in case you have any that listen to you, which again, lucky duck, as my dog and cat, in particular, do not) that your work as a writer, painter, sculptor, something. You need to tell them this and say that you need space to do your work because your work is important to you.

This may be terrifying.

Last weekend, I was jazzed to sit down and write. I had a block of time on Sunday when I decided to not clean bathrooms or vacuum or scrub the refrigerator shelves (all tasks that are still awaiting to be done). So I sat down at the desk where I spend over 40 hours a week at my day job, located in my living room. Nope–the creative juices weren’t flowing. So I moved to the kitchen table, a slightly more private space. In traipses the cat, followed by the dog, and soon, my SO.


Resisting the urge to be passive-aggressive and say “EVERYTHING’S FINE,” I expressed that I felt distracted. SO suggested we move a spare table currently in the second bedroom into the master, so that I can shut the door on the animals and have a work space. Table moved, blinds opened. The cat snuck in but napped quietly (check him out mid-yawn below).

cat and desk

I made a lot of progress on a first draft of a new project while enjoying the relative peace and quiet of this corner of the house that was all mine. Almost as important, I was proud of myself for stating what I needed in order to do something important to me.

You need to get into that mindset–and you need others to know that when they see you in your work space, then know you’re focusing on your work.

So do it. Stake out a place, and from there do you creative work.

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