by K A Hart
A distraction-free writing space. Does anyone have one? I have lived in this house for four years and I still haven’t found the right spot.
Somewhere that’s comfortable, but not too comfortable. A place with a view or inspirational pictures and famous quotes. Coffee, tea, a few snacks. Music. No music. A clean space, clutter-free. That’s what most writers suggest.
So. Writing space. Where have I made my writing space? Where have I not?!
I live in a Queenslander and have previously had flatmates with some unique interests. Having a writing space in the house back then was far more distracting then my procrastination. For a while I used the backseat of my Toyota Yaris. It’s more spacious than you’d imagine. A throw, a few European pillows and I was set. The fact it was outside and I had to organise a coffee travel mug, a thermos with more coffee and snacks made it less desirable to utilise the space. Okay, I’m a little lazy and procrastination is my friend. If I made it to the backseat, a lot of writing was done. The amount of times I actually made it there is a little fuzzy.
I bought a desk specifically for writing. Simple design. Small enough so it won’t get too cluttered but big enough for a laptop and an opened folder with my manuscript. I even went with the comfortable, but not too comfortable chair design. There is a little problem though. The desk is too high for the chair. My wrists tend to dig into the front of the desk if I sit there for more than an hour. So that means many breaks. Long breaks. My cat Aristotle used to help too. Sitting on the folder, on the laptop, on my arms. Cats can be very distracting.
I have a reading chair. I don’t actually use it to read. I don’t really use it much at all. Occasionally I’ve tried to write in it. It’s comfortable enough with a couple of pillows and the matching ottoman. But for some reason, my writing sessions don’t last long. Social media surfing tends to set in. Either the armchair is haunted or I don’t have enough pillows.
I know a few people who enjoy sitting in a cafe with a cappuccino and their laptop. I’ve tried it, though all the noise and people tend to annoy me too much to get anything done. If the cafe is quiet, has an outdoor area looking out into a garden or rolling landscape, I might thoroughly enjoy it. Finding that can be time-consuming and expensive depending on where you go and how many cappuccinos or long blacks you drink.
Has anyone ever tried to write in bed? It’s great for a while. The comfortable factor is snooze-worthy. Though that’s the problem. Just when I get into a good rhythm, the yawns start. Time for coffee, I say. It all goes bad from there. The kettle’s boiling. I have my cup ready to go. I reach for my phone and three hours later it’s time for bed. Bed as in sleep. Sleep as in it’s now eleven at night and I have work tomorrow morning.
The Writers Group
Meeting up with my writing group is a great way to catch up on my editing. I can get in an hour of writing at a two hour get-together … on a good day. Sometimes we talk about issues with our manuscripts. Sometimes we critique each others scenes. And sometimes we talk about anything and everything else.
I haven’t found the best writing space yet, but I think I’ve figured out what I need in order to achieve a productive writing schedule.
- Somewhere that is easy to get to - preferably in the house.
- A chair with adjustable height and back support.
- A quiet place where I can listen to music or hear the rain outside.
- Snacks and coffee within reach.
- No access to the internet UNLESS it is research day.
- Praying before and after a writing session.
Tell me about your writing space. Where is it? What about it makes you productive?
K A Hart has had two short stories published. Stone Bearer, appears in Glimpses of Light and Tedious Tresses, in the As Time Goes By Mixed Blessings anthology. She is currently working on a fantasy novel.