I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sat to write at home and ended up with nothing.
I get to my chair or couch, crack my knuckles and put fingers to keyboard, only to end up watching television and falling asleep.
Then I wake up about 1 in the morning, curse when I remember I have to work the next day, run to the bedroom so fast that I almost trip over the couch, then wake up the next morning feeling guilty about not writing anything.
I usually promise myself I’ll get some writing done when I get back home, only to repeat the same process all over again, tripping over couch and all.
Now this wouldn’t be a problem if I could wake up 6am, all refreshed and ready to hit the day, and start writing.
But I have a full-time job, and I certainly can’t be a full-time writer.
So why can’t I get my after work writing done?
My house is just way too comfortable for a guy like me.
Now, by no means is that a bad thing. A house is supposed to be comfortable.
Who wants to come home to an uncomfortable house after having to face a full day of work and hours of commute?
But it’s just not an environment conducive for writing.
Couch, computer, stove, car, stage pole, everything points towards the television.
And being someone who is heavily reliant on media to relax, I designed it that way on purpose.
The first thing I do when I reach home, after ensuring that pit bull isn’t hanging around my yard, is put on the television. I toss my bag in one corner, toss my shirt in the other, then plop down on the couch to see what’s on.
And don’t even let me get dinner. After that, I can barely stay awake.
So it was obvious, I needed to find a writing space, one that I would have no choice but to just sit and write.
This is nothing new for writers.
J.K. Rowley wrote in coffee shops. Mark Twain wrote on a billiards table. So I’m really just falling in line with the most successfully writers out there.
But not just anywhere would do.
I can’t just sit in the park and start writing. A great writing space must meet a certain standard.
And while everyone would have their own criteria, here is the list of things in order of importance that I find necessary to get some good writing done.
Location: Of course, I’m not going to drive for tens of miles, through traffic, just to spend an hour or two at a writing space, no matter how great the benefit. It’s got to be somewhere between work and home, or at least a couple minutes away from wherever I spend most of my time.
Minimum Distractions: I don’t mind people talking and laughing and having fun. It is a public place after all. But that doesn’t mean I want a live band and a wet t-shirt competition. Ok, maybe a wet t-shirt competition is fine, but certainly not a live band. People come here to sit, eat, chat, and write, full stop.
Comfortable Academic Design: There must be several chairs and tables arranged in a way inviting for the public to sit and read and write, and it must be comfortable. I won’t consider a writing space in a concrete room filled with exposed pipes and a dirty floor. The environment must be clean and easy on the eyes.
Power: Seeing that almost all writing is done on some type of electrical device, it makes sense to have a power outlet close by in case you need a charge. Imagine being in the middle of your best line ever only to have the screen suddenly go blank on you… ahhh!
Internet access: Rest assured that this is not for Facebook. I store all my documents on Google Drive, making it easy to write anywhere and on anything. Plus the Internet is great for quick research.
So with these criteria in mind, I searched, and I found a place in a mall called Grand Bazaar.
Here’s what my writing space looks like:
What do you think of it? And is there somewhere you go to focus and get stuff done? What does it look like? Let me know in the comments.
Jevon, I work at a small desk against the wall between the kitchen and back hall. I had electrical outlets put there, It’s too close to the TV in the livingroom which someone is watching at times, but it’s the only place. I have my printer and reference materials and a small laptop there. I’m retired so can work as I please. 🙂 —Suzanne
Great, Suzanne. Being retired would really help with my writing, but unfortunately that’s 30 years away.