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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Feng Shui for Writers
by Lisa Logan

Early in my writing career I faced the unenviable task that all writers must tackle at one time or another: that of setting up an effective workspace. I knew my work environment, though destined for naught but a small corner of my bedroom, could significantly influence productivity. An inviting and organized sanctum would provide a better medium for encouraging creativity than the distracting, clutter-filled hodgepodge I had been operating within. Staring at an overloaded desk and piles of paper, I felt daunted. What elements would make my writing area "inviting?" How did one go about setting up the ideal work environment?
It was during this quest that, quite by accident, I stumbled upon the ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui. While at first its mysticism struck me as quite impractical for my needs, a bit of research showed that the principles have a sound, logical basis. Using some simple techniques, I was able to regain lost ground and transform chaotic environs into an efficient, serene retreat from whence creative ideas begged to flow.
Feng Shui is defined as the study of the effects of one's environment. The Chinese believed that strategic positioning of furniture and accessories within their surroundings would release energies profoundly affecting well-being and success. Clutter was said to block energy and induce frustration, which was certainly true in my case. I had often found myself unable to focus and pound out a single paragraph when the apartment was a mess, so I'd initiated the tradition of beginning new writing projects by cleaning house a bit first.  Feng Shui also encouraged the use of adequate lighting, advice I found to be downright un-mystical in improving my writing area.
Starting off with these two simple instructions, I began de-cluttering and relighting my room. Paperwork went into a file cabinet; the desk was cleared and items like pencil holders, printer, and papers were shuffled into positions within easy reach. Bright illumination placed right where needed negated my previous need to squint through soft bedroom lamplight in order to find anything. 
The positive change these two things produced alone were so encouraging that I decided to try some bolder ideas. Feng Shui lore tells that each area of a room (or even a desktop) represents a different aspect of life: Career, Knowledge, Children, Family, Wealth, Fame, Marriage, Health, and Helpful People. Achieving balance with placement of color and specific accessories in a represented area will affect ones' life accordingly. For instance, reds and purples can be used in the writing space in order to activate wealth, success, and energy. I wasn't quite up for painting the walls in this scheme, so I settled for colored wall art. Crystals or chimes hung over the wealth and fame area was said to improve the flow of energy, creativity, and wealth. I hung a chime with crystals. Running water was said to represent flowing money, so a desktop fountain was strategically placed in the career zone. This also aided the environment by increasing humidity, releasing ions, and providing pleasant, serene background noise.
Once I'd tackled my work space I found the practice of Feng Shui a hard one to stop. Faucets, sink drains, and toilets were believed to take away energy (and money!) from the home, so I repaired leaky faucets, plugged drains not in use, and closed toilet lids and bathroom doors. A chime in the front entryway helps welcome money and energy into my home. Plants bring new life and energy. Furniture shifted into recommended arrangements, producing a streamlined and satisfying feel.
Did these changes really work? I believe the answer is a resounding "yes!"  When I enter my workspace now, the bold inspiring swirls of color on the walls, soft bubbling chatter of the fountain, and prismatic glitter from the chimes provides an invigorating yet peaceful place in which to let imagination stream onto paper. Needed work essentials are clutter-free and easy to access. My productivity is better than ever, and the elusive door to paying markets finally opened. On the couple of occasions that clutter snaked its way back into my sanctum I noticed a quick return to the days of distraction and blank computer screens. A bit of ongoing diligence on my part ensures that this Creeping Stuff phenomenon is not able to impede my flow of creative energy. Whether my results were due to mystical forces of energy or simply my dedicated intention to improve my writing area I cannot say for certain. But the overwhelming change in organization and success has me convinced that the ancients had a leg up on managing daily living.
To other writers interested in seeing how Feng Shui can help boost organization and creativity I say start small. There are so many aspects of using color, shapes, elements, and accessories that it can easily become a lifetime pursuit. However, utilizing tiny cures in an area as small as a desktop can produce a positive benefit. Do a few things, then expand as time and interest permits. The following are some resources for Feng Shui techniques to help pave the way. Good luck!
Web Sites:
Lisa Logan's articles, columns, and short stories have been featured in print and online in publications such as Futures, Explore!, the anthology Misadventures of Moms and Disasters of Dads, and NightsandWeekends.com.  Her book, 29 Ways To Travel on a Budget, is due for e-publication soon.  Lisa is a Web designer specializing in author promotion and is currently in college pursuing a nursing degree. She resides in Southern California with husband Michael and is mother to seven children.











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