Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The All-Important Writing Spot


When my husband and I moved our family into our current house a year and a half ago, it really did a number on my ability to write. Aside from all the moving shenanigans like packing, unpacking, coordinating, and flailing around like a spastic octopus, I had lost my writing spot.

You know that place in your house or favorite coffee shop where the writing just sort of happens? You can lose hours there, lulled by the cadence of your keyboard keys, and never even realize it. It’s comfortable, with the right level of noise and light and maybe even a power outlet or two.

Yeah, I lost that when we moved. My old spot had been on the far right side of our tatty old blue and yellow plaid couch, a couch we declined to bring with us to the new house because of its old and somewhat ugly condition. We filled the void in our new family room with a couch I scored off Craigslist, but it was a different shape and height and it just…It wasn’t right.

If I sat with my laptop on my lap, the angle was all wrong and the screen was too difficult to see. If I tried sitting at the other end of the couch, I had to lay back too far and I don’t know anyone who likes writing in a reclined position.

I was stuck. My house was all unpacked and life was back to normal, but I couldn’t write. I tried a few stopgap places around the house that worked okay, but none of them were perfect. None of them were The Spot. And my writing suffered for it.

That is, until I found the corner of the couch. Nestled into the elbow of the couch with my legs stretched out on the daybed, I was in Heaven. Comfortable, relaxed, and able to type.

Bingo!

The writing started flowing and I surfed that wave all the way to the end of my second novel. I finished the rough draft of that book in a month, and I credit that supremely comfortable nook of my couch for the victory. Ergonomic it might not be, but that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect.

Where do you write?

-Erika Mitchell

5 comments:

Big Mike said...

I used to lock away in my guy room for hours to do my writing on the desktop computer. Then I got Wifi in my house. Now I spend all my time on the couch in our TV room using my laptop, or outside on our porch overlooking the lake. Funny how as little technology can change your habits.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You're very right about The Spot. Inspiration is another matter. Movement such as cars, trains and planes spark my imagination, but the nitty gritty of writing has to be done in "the spot."

Liz Fountain said...

During NaNoWriMo, I seem to get my highest word counts at the Old Pequliar Tavern in Ballard, at write-ins organized by the wonderful Sarah. It's noisy, there's greasy pub food, and people playing darts over my head. Perfect! The rest of the time, it's either in bed or at my favorite coffee shop, except when I'm lucky enough to visit my brother and sit by the lake in his small town.

linda_rettstatt said...

My favorite spot is in my recliner with my laptop. But lately I've been having trouble with my knees because the laptop puts pressure on them. I'm in search of an alternative 'spot' now.

Annabel Aidan said...

When I moved, I lost all my regular hangouts. I'm lucky to have a beautiful writing space here on the Cape, but I still sometimes prefer to write outside or pack up and go somewhere else. I'm still exploring, trying to find "my" places, but so often a change of scenery helps.