Bright Lights and Big Stage

It’s no fun being sent to your room. I should know. I spent several days throughout my childhood staring at my ceiling light wondering why I was forced to deal with this kind of torture. And guess what? I didn’t have a TV or cell phone to entertain me. Hard to believe, right?  Instead, I used this time to sit, think, and write. I turned a bad situation into a good one. My stories were clever and funny, meant to pass the time.  I wrote whatever I wanted, without fear or judgement. That freedom ended up spilling over to every area of my life. I was not afraid to express myself in school or out. Now I am blessed to be able to share my love of writing with a whole new generation. I am confident that you will have some of your own tales to share. Hopefully you won’t get sent to your room in order to write them.

The one thing I always did before writing was prepare my space. Just like writing a great story, the setting is important. I’d like to share 5 tips for setting your writing “stage.”

Create a space where you feel inspired to write. Do you have a favorite writing corner in your room? Add comfy pillows, a small lamp, perhaps a tent or canopy, or even a sleeping bag – whatever you like that will encourage you to sit, relax, and let your imagination soar.

1.     Every great movie has a soundtrack. Music is a great way to ramp up creativity. Explore different music styles. Whether it is country, classical, hip hop, or heavy metal, music sets the mood.

2.     A while ago, I purchased a diffuser. A diffuser plugs into the wall and sends fragrances into the air. They work great but if you don’t have one, you can also sprinkle your favorite scent on a wet paper towel and hang it over your air vent. Breathe in the magical aroma and create the perfect mood to write that epic adventure.

3.     The number two pencil has been a part of back to school supplies since… forever. One of the main complaints for young writers is pain in your hand from gripping the pencil too tight. Train your hand to relax by using a mechanical pencil. These are so cool to write with. However, if you grip these pencils too tight, you’ll break the led (bummer). Once you loosen your grip, writing that essay won’t be such a pain (I promise!). Colored pencils and fine line markers also create a vibrant paper. Make sure your teacher is okay with sharing your creativity this way.

4.     To increase your concentration and your writing energy, keep healthy snacks nearby. When you need a pick me up, grab a handful of granola, grapes, or pretzels. These will re-energize you, plus you won’t end up with a greasy, sticky paper.

So go for it. Create your magical space and give your writing the bright lights and big stage it deserves.

Terri Whitmire is a published author and writing coach for children of all ages. For more information, visit her website at or follow Fun Creative Writing on Facebook.