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  • Writer's pictureRoberta Feliz

Get Comfortable - Get Writing!

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,

Roberta  



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Guest
Jan 22

Hi Roberta and Andrea,

Excellent information, Roberta. If I may add, I have conducted a study of seating used in mass transportation and wanted to mention the problem of the loss of scooped seating in the seat pan. Prior to the 1980’s scooped seat pans were prevalent in subways. The seat pan was deliberately contoured to accommodate the human body. About 1-2 cm on either side of the thighs was provided so that the passenger was not sitting on the edge of the chair and a similar gap was provided from behind the knees to the front of the chair. But post ‘80’s the bean counters had their way: remove individual seat pans and go to “bench” style seating. That…


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Andrea Philmore
Andrea Philmore
Jan 23
Replying to

Brad,

Thanks for commenting on Roberta's post. As for the check, I believe Mr. Wiggins informed you that, because the check was lost, we would stop payment and issue a replacement. Has the replacement arrived? Or, am I to take it from your comment that you "don't need a check" that you are waiving payment, completely?

Thanks,

Andrea

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