Thursday, March 24, 2011
Don't Sit There!
As the unpacking process reaches the point of “no boxes”, I’m busy arranging, rearranging, and changing my mind again. You know that crazy indecisiveness as your mind toys with the million and a one choices and strategies—even as I type, I’m resisting the urge to move the living room furniture once again.
Part of this process is, of course, setting up my work environment. Being a writer, I have specific requirements for optimum creativity. Ideally, I like a quiet place with lots of light and few distractions. In my old house, I was blessed to have areas to make a complete separate office. However, due to circumstances that I won’t talk about because I’ll just want to scream, our new house is bigger, but a different setup. I don’t have the extra rooms like before.
After much contemplation, measuring, mouth-twisting, I finally made some decisions. My work area is now split into two areas. Downstairs, right off the kitchen, the house has a built-in desktop. This area is my work station during the day. It’s where I compose my blog posts and delve into reviews. I check my emails and play on Facebook and Twitter. It’s also where I do all the rest of my organizing of life—menu planning, organization plans, homeschool schedule, etc.
Our big desk fit nicely on one wall of our bedroom. Now, normally, I would not like the desk in our room. After all, the bedroom is supposed to be a sanctuary, a place to relax. But due to space constraints, this was the best option. So all my novel-related work will take place up there. We have a nice big window to let in lots of light. I can shut the door on the world and settle into some peace and quiet.
Now it’s time to set it up in exactly the way I think will jumpstart the most creativity. Not sure what that is yet, but I’ll have fun playing with the set up. I do know that I want to get one corkboard for character/setting notes/pictures. I’m a pretty visual person, so I think that will help stimulate my muse and get me “in” the story.
I’ve noticed that I have different preferences depending on what I’m writing and where I am in that project. When I’m writing a first draft, nothing bothers me. I can be inside/outside, standing up/sitting down, on the couch or at my desk. I just get excited to write! When I’m researching or editing, though, I’m much pickier. I want quiet. I want a specific set up. The biggest difference, I think, is that when I’m writing a first draft, I can do that in short spurts. Twenty minutes here, thirty there. When I research/edit, I get frustrated with anything less than an hour. Strange, huh?
Work environment can be pretty essential to who we are as writers. It can affect our energy, our focus, and our creativity. Do you know what your preferences are? How do you mold your surroundings to fit those preferences?