Every writer has an ideal environment in which to write, right? Lately, I’ve been writing at a cluttered kitchen table because my office looked like offices do post-move – full of boxes. But luckily for me, my husband and I spent last weekend cleaning out the office. (I’d like to say we unpacked the boxes, but mostly we moved them into the closet.) Now I have a real, true office, and I plan to keep it this way.
It’s nice to have my computer set up, windows for light, walls blank and ready to decorate (I have a print from my favorite author/artist waiting to be hung), a bookshelf (maybe I’ll fill it with craft books one day), and – most importantly, perhaps – a couch. That’s right, I have a sleeper sofa in my office, remnant from our old living room, something too new to get rid of but too old to be comfortable for daily use. This means I have a variety of places I can sit to write.
I can write most anywhere, as long as the TV isn’t playing. But I prefer to have a dedicated space (don’t we all?) and I’m lucky enough to have the physical ability to do so and a family who understands that writers need space to work. My perfect location is actually a local Panera – there’s food, beverages, internet, and just enough noise to keep me from going crazy.
I’ve actually avoided my office for the past two days, because I’ve been terribly sick. It’s easy to sit at the kitchen table, with no stairs to contend with, especially being within earshot of my school-aged child and his puppy, in case they need me. My office is on the second story, so it’s harder for him to get me if he needs me quickly. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing. (Today he was singing a water cycle song and kept interrupting me while I was on the phone. “Condensation, evaporation,” he sang. “Is this really necessary?” I asked. “Wait! Mommy!” he said, as I turned the car into our neighborhood. I thought I had forgotten something. “Yes?” “Precipitation!” Boy was he proud of himself.)
My office is also doubling as a classroom. I’m beginning to teach English to children in China. So now, my desk faces the door, so that there is a wall behind me. The wall holds brightly colored primary education materials, including a whiteboard with my name. Hopefully this won’t be a bust, and if it turns out to be, well, at least I have my ABCs nearby in case I forget, and a whiteboard to sketch out ideas.
How about you, friends? What’s your ideal writing environment?