Where do you do your writing?
In the pre-computer days I used notebooks and a portable typewriter for my writing needs. It was slow and laborious and, not being a good typist, I made many mistakes. Because the typewriter was portable it meant I was not tied to a desk.
In the early 1990s I bought my clunky old Commodore Amiga computer. It was bulky and slow and took up a large area on a desk. What it did, however, was give my writing a huge boost. I could easily edit, correct, reprint and rewrite with ease. I fired the old computer up recently – and it still works like a charm. It was very advanced at the time.
Next came a series of desktop PCs. I was off and running with my writing, but I was stuck to a desk. While it was rather restricting as far as movement was concerned, that was a small price to pay for the power of a PC to assist my writing endeavours.
Early 2004 saw a new development. I bought my first laptop. I can now write on the move. I can write in the sun room if that takes my fancy. I still use to office quite a deal, but during the colder months I set up a table in the lounge room in front of the slow combustion fire. It gives lovely warmth – with the added bonus of having the television on to watch the football. In the summer months I can keep an eye on the cricket while I write. And when I visit my son in Sydney or my daughter in Clare, the laptop comes with me so I can keep writing whenever I want.
Where don’t I write?
- I haven’t been tempted to take the laptop into the bath with me.
- I certainly don’t take it into the toilet – though I sometimes have great inspirational ideas while meditating therein.
- I have taken the laptop into bed with me – but only once – and my wife was away at the time.
- I have taken my laptop into the garden but I don’t make a habit of it. I’d be too tempted to watch the birds, or snooze in the sunshine, or worst of all, see some job that needs my attention.
- I do not write while driving; it is not recommended.
This last one reminds me of a cartoon in the Weekend Australian Newspaper last Saturday. The drawing shows a writer tapping away on a laptop while his car is plunging over the edge of a cliff. An arrow from the caption points at the screen. The caption says:
“…and as I plummeted to my death, I wondered if perhaps I should have been concentrating on the road rather than typing this autobiography.
So – where do you do your writing?
Share your writing habits in the comments section below.
The bathroom is an excellent place to think deep thoughts. I think a survey would show an amazingly high percentage of illuminations received therein.
On to the subject, though. I use both my laptop (which I hope I am never without again) and pen and paper. Pen and paper are used for journalling, ideas, and the beginnings of most poetry. The laptop is used for research, and the actual writing of non-poetry work. All final drafts are done on the laptop.
Actual location for the laptop use usually ends up being my kitchen table, one end of which doubles as my office desk. Sometimes I take it to the living room, but a child in the house under the age of two makes that a dubious option. She finds the cord and the keyboard fascinating. Pen and paper are used outside, in bed, and at work.
When writing poetry it seems that a pen and paper is so much better than a computer in the composing stage. In fact, I often use a pencil rather than a pen. There is something special about using a pencil. I’m not sure what it is though.
I rarely compose poetry straight on to the computer; I may have done it once or twice but can’t remember. Polishing to the finished stage is usually done on the screen these days, as is major reworkings and revising of poems.
Just about all other writing is now done on my laptop, including journal writing. Many years ago I did start handwriting in specially bought blank hardback books which I used as my journal. I changed to using the computer about ten years ago.
[…] year I wrote an article with the same name as this one: Where do you do your writing? It was a reflective piece about the various places I find are suitable – or unsuitable – for […]