Creative Spaces

In a world of staccato bursts of information, where I swipe through updates on iPhone screens, smash my words into 140 character boxes, and information whizzes past me at an alarming rate, it’s hard to find the time to  just sit and listen to my muse. I also think my muse is a bit too soft-spoken. If she were more like an angst-ridden cranky old man, I might hear her better. She’d also probably give me a headache, so I guess all in all I ended up with the perfect muse for me. Since we seem to be working well together, I want to strengthen that relationship. I don’t want her ticked off and storming out.

So I started thinking about where I spent my time writing and what I could do to improve my creativity in that area.

Luckily for me, I haven’t been able to write at a coffee shop. Maybe one day I’ll give it a serious shot, but there’s something impersonal about the whole thing. It’s not MY space. It’s everyone else’s! Hmm . . . maybe I have some territorial issues I need to work through.

Anyway . . . writing space.

My writing space is in our living room. We have a long living room, so we’ve plonked down one of those handy IKEA desks in the corner by the window. It’s quite boring, really. Something has to be done to liven the place up.

And then I got an idea!

I am going to incorporate every sense into my writing area – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste to create a truly inspiring writing space.

Sight = Color

Currently our walls are covered with golden stripes, and while it’s beautiful when the late afternoon sun hits, it’s not doing anything for me. Maybe I’ve looked at it for too long, or maybe the colors are just too muted. Definitely time for a change.

I’ve read that orange was the color that sparked the most creativity. I also found studies that said grey, green and yellow were the top creativity inducers. Since everyone has a different theory and I can probably find a study out there somewhere supporting whatever color I choose to surround myself with, any color is fair game.

I like the idea of adding some fiery orange to my work area, so I’m going to find some orange fabric and cover a large cork-board with it. This serves two purposes. It fills the area with a splash of bright color (that induces creativity, so the studies promised) and serves as a place for me to pin random notes I need to remember. Now I just need to find a cork-board. In Sweden, this might prove to be quite difficult.

Sound = Music

My husband listens to music while he works. It drives me bonkers. I hate it. I can’t get anything done. Even if he administered mind-altering drugs and I fell madly in love with his music, I’d still go nuts. The problem isn’t the music, it’s that my mind wants to hear the next word, and then the next one. I want to understand the lyrics. Considering some of the lyrics out there, this is a recipe for disaster. Half the lyrics don’t even make sense anymore. Nevertheless, when I hear music, I have this need to analyze the message of each song and I can’t concentrate on anything else.

I know I’m a geek.

However, I have discovered classical musical doesn’t have the same effect. Or movie scores. Not just any movie either, but epic movies like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. If The Road to Isengard is playing in the background, I’m working like a dog and the words are flying off my fingers. It’s odd that I know this, yet I still haven’t set up Spotify, turned on my mp3 player, or even opened up YouTube in the background. Guess I know how I’ll be starting the day tomorrow.

Touch = Texture

I couldn’t find any studies linking texture and imagination. I want to believe they exist, though. It just makes sense. Different textures create different sensations in our body and the more sensations we feel, the more emotions we trigger. The more emotions we feel, the more we can imagine. Therefore, texture must be important. My first thought was to create little texture keyboard pads. That would have been perfect! Wicker for the ‘W’ key and silk for the ‘S’ key.

Yeah, but I don’t know how to do that and it would consume more time than I want to spend on the project. It’s an interesting idea, but I won’t be implementing it. I’ll probably pick about five different textures and end up doing the same thing on a larger scale. I can attach swaths of different material to the desk cabinet panels. I could also add some embellishments to my cork-board so that it looks like a badly recreated taggy book the kids had when they were little. I bet I could even bribe them to do the work. This idea is sounding better and better.

Smell = Scents 

I’ve read vanilla and cinnamon are two of the most inspiring fragrances. A short trip to a candle shop and I’ve got this one covered, although I like spicier scents so I might do some more research on aromas and their various effects.

Taste = ?

I haven’t figured this one out. How do I incorporate taste into my writing area? Oh! Maybe I can beg someone from America to ship me different coffee flavored creamers. Hazelnut sounds like a creativity leader, right? No, definitely pumpkin spice. When did all these flavors come out? They still haven’t discovered hazelnut in Sweden!


Published by casblomberg

Cas Blomberg is a native-English speaking writer who lives in Stockholm, Sweden.