When I sit down to write, there are certain things that need to fall into place – like a puzzle box – or it doesn’t happen.
The most obvious is the equipment. I use my MacBook Air, but pens and notebooks are not out of the equation. (Oh, how I long for a really cool vintage typewriter but don’t we all?) One year my husband gave me a waterproof notepad and special waterproof pencil so I could jot down notes as they came to me in the shower. It. Was. Awesome.
(I lost it when we moved. So sad.)
I write best in booths (i.e. tables at restaurants or coffee shops that have booth seating). It has to be a booth. Regular dining chairs don’t cut it for me out in public because too many people can look right over your shoulder. I mean they can still do that with the booth but the difference is that it feels like you’re shielded a bit.
I want to be Jughead Jones (Riverdale) when he sits all night at Pop’s to write. We don’t have a diner like Pop’s around here, though, so I’m hoping for a Writing Shed in the backyard (with a booth).
Music is another must – but not just music: earbuds. Whether I’m in a booth or trying to squeeze some writing time in at home, I need to drown out the sounds of everything else around me. If I leave the house with my laptop but forget the earbuds, there’s no point in trying. Sometimes I get a lot of writing done on the road (as the passenger, of course) as long as I have earbuds.
The absolute worst place in the world for me to write is at home. There are far too many distractions. I have kids, and dogs, and cats, and a husband. Add to that the dishes and the laundry and the sweeping and the dusting and the cleaning and the “everything else,” there’s little to no time or energy left to sit and write.
What do you need when you write (or do whatever you do)? It’s time for me to clean the house a bit, then get my kids off of the school bus, figure out what we’re having for dinner, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll get some revision work done tonight.