My writing space isn’t typical. Not a lot of things in my life are, but that’s another post altogether.
I live in a decent two-bedroom apartment in a so-so decent city. Its set-up is practical; living and dining rooms up front, bathroom and laundry room in the hall, two bedrooms in the back. For two people – a couple, no less – this is an ideal arrangement. One bedroom is used for, well, the bedroom, where the other is designated as a special kind of limbo for all the flotsam in our lives. Or, as Keith and I call it, the computer room.
I don’t like the computer room. Let me tell you why.
Our little four-unit apartment building is quaint, and I like that. Do I want to live here forever? No, but that’s beside the point. What isn’t so quaint is the 300-unit condominium complex that wraps around the east and south side of our cozy little building. Mind you, it’s not on top of us (a large parking lot separates us), but Mary Mother of God and All Things Holy, that is one of the noisiest damned set of condos I’ve ever heard. People, cars, music, you name it. And don’t get me started on the dogs. All those barking dogs; you’d think there was a kennel over there. From the crack of dawn until Letterman comes on.
My point is this: the window of our computer room faces those condos, and its freeway-like parking lot (honestly, you’d be amazed at the frequency of comings and goings). It had, for years, made a chore of writing. I was unable to focus. My frustration was volcanic. What’s worse? Of our two desks, mine is nearest the window. Lucky me.
I bet you’re wondering if this blog post is going anywhere. Don’t worry, it is.
You see, several months ago we were not wireless. Yes, Keith and I were living in the Stone Age, attached to technology by cables and plugs. But, with the power of a wireless modem came the power to take control. When we were able to use our computers without a tether, I was able to haul my computer to the dining room. I mean, we don’t eat in here anyway, so why not adopt it as my own? The table became my desk (the other desk sits abandoned, like something from Pripyat), the dining room my office.
This suits me. On one side I have the blinds and sliding glass door to our balcony – this provides plenty of light with which to work. On the other side, I have the fridge – cold beer is within arm’s reach. My chair, too, has wheels on it, making maneuverability easy-peezy! When I’m thinking, or in a daze, or maybe a drunken stupor, I have a lovely view I can gaze toward (if I look past our parking lot and the main thoroughfare of our bustling little town).
I am pleased with the arrangement. It’s surprising how going 40 feet from one end of the apartment to the other could make all the difference in the world. Night and Day. Now if I could just get those damned birds in the tree outside to shut the hell up, I’d be in worker-bee heaven.
This leads me to ask: What writing conditions are ideal for you? What gets your gears moving? Must it be neat and tidy? Or are you like me, papers, notes, and bottles of beer on your work space? Do you need absolute silence? Or do you prefer some background noise, like music or screaming children? Comment, share, be candid. I’d love to hear from you!