Hello creatives! Andrea Philmore asked me onboard to chat about our writing workspaces. You know, those special places where we seal ourselves away from the distractions of the outside world? That place where we surround ourselves with our personal comforts, take our place in our old reliable chair and attend to the task of creativity? Each of us should have such a space. But, let’s get real – we probably don’t. Instead, we have energetic toddlers, cranky soulmates, overly loud televisions and endless video games. How can we overcome these distractions? Such is the challenge.
One size does not fit all. Some writers can sit amidst cacophony and crank out bestsellers. Some, like I, cannot. So, how do we cope? I know several writers who write in bed. Once their mate is fast asleep and the kids are down, they get to it. But if you are not writing while prone, you need some time to yourself and a suitable chair. If your chair is comfortable and supportive, you have a much better chance of success. Will Collins of 99 Chairs fame said it best: “A comfortable chair is a friend you take for granted, over and over. Start being kind to that friend. Talk to your friend. Ask them how they are feeling, too.”
I’m a professional ergonomist and do have a special chair, but get ready for a surprise. It is uncomfortable, by design. Yes. I obtained an out of service New York subway seat to use as my “special” chair. It has the color of a bruised orange, is sweaty and a real back breaker. But I have a daily goal – a thousand words or one hour, whichever comes first. The discomfort of my subway chair acts as an incentive to produce, quickly. I can often get those words down in well less than an hour. And I’m not the only writer motivated by discomfort. The late, great crime writer Charles Willeford once told a colleague that he would not allow himself the privilege of using the bathroom after waking up in the morning until he had written at least one page. (Willeford did add, however, that one may wind up with a character who has to use the bathroom a lot.)
So, my friends - what kind of chair is “write” for you? Until next time,