We have another theme week for you: writing spaces. Where we write, and what it means.
Here’s my space:
My office is a second bedroom in the house. I do most of my writing at a desk, working on a desktop computer with a rather small flat screen. The desk is full of chaos, because my brain is a bit “out of sight, out of mind,” and if I don’t want to forget about something — story outline, bills that need paying — I have to keep it right there where I can see it. I know how to find everything, honest! Stuff I want to keep out of the way, but still visible, I pin to the bulletin board. My goal lists and project lists go there.
I put a lot of fun things in my office — I like having it be a warm and happy place, so that I like spending time there. Lily the dog usually naps under the desk, which is lovely. And my life-size cardboard Thor is quite the inspiration to me, I must say.
For a stretch of time a few years ago, I wrote a bunch on my laptop, spread out on the sofa. I finished a couple of novels this way, because sitting at my desk was a drag and I had to change location to get things done. Then I invested in a much better office chair — and I haven’t left my desk since. That was a great lesson for me: good, comfortable equipment, can make a huge difference. Uncomfortable equipment makes me fidgety, and I won’t get work done. So, invest in the good stuff, keeping in mind that what works for someone else may not work for me.
Lately, I’ve been trying to shake things up a little, to make working on the road easier and more productive. I’ve done a bunch of traveling over the last three years, and I’ve learned that it really cuts into my output. I’d like to change this, if I can. I’m not fond of carrying a laptop with me, and I usually don’t — it’s the issue of comfort, again. The laptop, while it has its uses, drives me bonkers, so I usually leave it at home. This year, I’m going to try something else: I got an iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard to go with it. The keyboard is the size of a standard laptop keyboard, and works great. (I never had a problem with the laptop keyboard, it was lugging the damn thing around that I didn’t like.) I found a word-processing app that’s compatible with Word, which is what I usually use. So far, I’ve found that this setup is much more portable than a laptop. I don’t have to take it out of my bag to go through airport security. I can set it up on my lap without feeling the need to move to a desk or table. I even brought it to a coffee shop once.
Writing space and location is another one of those variables that really does make a difference, and it behooves us to experiment to find the arrangement that makes us the most comfortable and productive.