There was once a time when I could write anywhere. I could write in the back of a classroom whilst I was supposed to be taking notes. I could scribble on the bus or sitting in my living room with the television on. It didn’t matter whether I was sitting at a desk or lying on my bed. I could write absolutely anywhere.
That is, unfortunately, no longer the case. I can still make notes but I find that writing prose takes more concentration and gathering my concentration means the right location.
While most writers can get something done in a coffee shop, most writing will be done at home or in some kind of work space. So, when setting up your main writing location, here are a number of things to consider.
1. Comfort vs Concentration – Comfort is great in the short term, but can often be short lived. I find, if I am sitting on my bed, I need to move regularly to stop my legs going numb. Sitting on the sofa brings the same problems. I find that, to get best results, sitting at a desk/table in a proper chair allows me for longer stretches in solid work.
2. Distraction – We all get distracted by something. Sometimes we can block some of these distractions out, but others will not be so easily ignored. I, personally, find it much more difficult to write is there a television on, even if I have headphones in with music.
Many of us live with housemates or family, and having people in the room playing games or watching television are not beneficial to me. So, when I want to write, I retreat to my own personal space where I can limit distractions.
3. Laptop vs Desktop – Some people love laptops and others love desktops, this is all personal choice. Find which type of screen and keyboard works best for you. Which size of keyboard is most comfortable for typing, allowing you to type longer without cramp? Do you get headaches if you stare at a small screen for too long? Consider what is most beneficial for you and organise your location appropriately.
4. Natural Light – Try to find somewhere that gets as much natural light as possible. Of course, this isn’t as beneficial in the winter months, but while light is readily available, try to use it, as it won’t strain your eyes as much as artificial light. It will also offset some of the strain of staring at a laptop.
Only a short one today, but things to think about, especially during NaNoWriMo when you want to be able to write for long enough periods to get your word count.