:Creativity / Working from home

Where I create: A fiction writer and teacher’s comfort

where i create nila patel where i create nila patel

The space where a creator works can be one of the most personal spaces they have at their disposal. Whether you create from home or you have a studio somewhere else, where you create has a direct impact on what you create. Our column “Where I create” will take you where Teachable creators do their most important work. We’ll feature a new creator’s space each month to inspire others.

Sitting down to write can be a daunting task. But when you’ve written more than 400 short stories, like Nila Patel has, it becomes less intimidating. Nila is a writer and has a school on Teachable to help others succeed with their writing as well. We caught up with her to learn about the workspace she’s found works best for her. 

Consistency is key

“I’ve always wanted to write. When I was very young, I thought I wanted to be a novelist,” Nila told Teachable. “But fast forward to 2013, I started a website where I was posting, and I’m still posting, short stories every week,” she said. Now she also has a podcast where she discusses her weekly writing too.

Nila is in her ninth year of writing and posting a short story each week on her site. “I’m in a very, I think, unique position,” said Nila. That unique position? She had a proven track record that she can get it done, so she can help others get their writing done, too. After all, she’s done it hundreds of times.

Taking the plunge

“I had a day job up until last year. I quit my day job, but I have always wanted to work for myself and have my own business, but I wasn’t sure how to do that,” she said. Teachable gave her the means to do so. She took advantage of the various challenges and summits Teachable hosted to get started on her journey. The Launch Accelerator Challenge was the thing that really helped her get her course started. “It was the right time,” she said. She made one sale during her pre-sale prompting her to finish her course. Next up is the work to promote her course and increase those sales numbers.

Her course is set up to help aspiring fiction writers write a short story in just five weeks. She covers everything from the brainstorming and outlining phases all the way through the final draft of the story. She also covers the common challenges of writing. Like how to overcome writer’s block and decide on the direction a story should take. In her course, she also shares some of the tactics that help her most too, like asking “What if?” and “Why?” of her own story. This helps her see where her story is and decide whether she wants to continue with the story that way or change it up.

Ready when inspiration strikes

Unlike many of the subjects of “Where I create,” Nila doesn’t have a hyper-specific setting that she needs for her writing. What she needs more to be creative is a place that delivers a feeling more so than a specific space. She doesn’t need a large desk or screen like some creators do. “I don’t like to be anchored,” she said. 

“​​Sometimes I even rotate between my laptop, and I even have a couple of tablets, which sometimes just makes it feel more [like a] casual environment,” she said. “I also don’t like any kind of sound or music or anything. And I think that’s because it could clash with whatever I’m writing,” Nila said. If she does want some background sound, she goes for white noise, such as rain. She even keeps some bluetooth keyboards around the house so she can easily grab a tablet and keyboard whenever the inspiration to write strikes. A casual environment with plent of writing tools helps the creativity flow for Nila.

Even within her course she explains to students how sitting down at a big desk and screen can be daunting and actually make it harder to get writing. The freedom to move around, get comfortable, change settings, and adjust when necessary is important to getting down to it and writing. 

“Sometimes I’ll have a mug of tea or something next to me just to make myself comfortable. So that’s what that means for me,” Ultimately, to Nila it’s the comfort and feeling of an environment that makes where she creates special.

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Author: Nina Godlewski, Nina is a Content Marketing Strategist at Teachable. She has a passion for taking complex topics and making them accessible for any reader. Previously she's written for Lending Tree, Fundera, Newsweek, and Business Insider.