I’ve never been into the whole writing at a desk thing. I’ve tried it, but couldn’t get comfortable in that rigid, upright position. I suspected that what I needed was room to spread out, so I pushed two desks together, but that didn’t help. I tried writing on couches, but I couldn’t get comfy leaning on the armrest or resting the laptop on my lap. I tried writing on the floor, but the urge to curl up in a patch of sunlight and take a nap was too strong. I even tried writing standing up, but that was just plain awkward.
Location, location, location. Finding that perfect place is sort of what we’re all after, isn’t it? Whether it’s a house, a campsite or a place to write, discovering that sweet spot is important. For a writer, the right work area can mean the difference between mind-blowing creativity and wasted time fidgeting, checking Facebook and using your webcam to help you fix your hair.
I still haven’t found the best place for me, but I seem to do better on a bed. I can sit criss-cross-applesauce style and scatter my computer and papers all around me. But it’s still not perfect, especially because it’s a multi-use space. Sometimes my body gets confused and thinks we’re going to sleep instead of going to work.
So, what goes into the ideal writing space? For me, I need to be physically unconstrained. I need privacy, because I tend to talk to myself out loud when I’m thinking. I need soft, instrumental music and easy access to reference books. I’m intensely visual, so I require a large, flat area where I can see all of my notes at once. The bed does all of this, but it’s also a distraction — it’s too comfortable and too close to my TV and the siren song of Netflix. It doesn’t encourage me to focus. It’s also entirely too far away from my kettle, so tea (ie. word fuel) isn’t easy to come by. My bed (and my bedroom in general) lacks an atmosphere of writerliness that I crave.
The bottom line is this: When I have the opportunity, I’m going to create a new writing space — one that’s clean, secluded, red (a color that supposedly encourages the mind to think outside the box) and feng shuied liked nobody’s business.
For now, the box springs will have to do, but a guy can dream, right?
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Where do you write — coffee shops, libraries, cemeteries? Let me know in the comments on via Twitter, where you can find me under the alias @jonnyeberle.