Here's what used to be my fantasy of the ideal writing space, which I would surely have by the time I was a professional author:
Imagine a room filled with books and gorgeous artwork. There's a big comfy armchair in one corner. There are shelves of research books (since I write historical novels) helpfully close to the beautiful antique desk. There are flowers blooming in the corner. There is an atmosphere of absolute peace.
Ahem. Excuse me.
Now here's my actual writing space, as an officially professional author:
Anywhere I can prop my laptop. Which usually means on my knees.
I don't have a desk, much less a "writing room". I write while either lying on the couch, or lying on my bed propped up on the pillows. My toddler son's toys are stacked around me in either place. Every time I look away from my laptop screen, I'm reminded of all the household (or business) chores that I've left undone, all the burning issues that I desperately need to handle...just as soon as I can finish my scene.
Here's how I focus anyway:
1. Desperation: I only have a limited amount of time and energy for writing, so I need to buckle down and use it, no matter what!
2. Music: I keep a playlist on iTunes for each writing project. I never listen to those playlists except when I'm writing. That means that from the moment I put on my headphones and hear the first song, I'm already in the mood and headspace for that project (especially since each song on the playlist has been picked for its resonance with at least one of my characters.) No matter how much clutter might be stacked around me, how many chores might be begging to be done, once my soundspace is full of inspiration, I can focus on my laptop screen and be swept away to 1803 England (or anywhere else in time and space).
3. Bribery: My favorite kind of tea is Earl Grey. My favorite kind of chocolate is dark and gourmet. Guess how I start every writing session? With a cup of hot tea and four squares of delicious dark chocolate. It's a perfect bribe to start writing, and it's also become a ritual - and every ritual helps!
Yup. Desperation, Music, and Bribery: my top three tips for creating a writing space. They may not sound romantic...but they really, really work!
What about you guys? What do you do to help yourself feel creative no matter what your physical environment might be?