Where do you write?
I have 3 writing projects at various stages that I need to finish/move on next week. I can write quite quickly when I put my mind to it but I am also the world’s best at putting it off and procrastinating as well as drafting and redrafting and then going back to the original draft, not liking that and starting again… When other people edit, I have a hissy fit and re-write. I often end up with what I started with in the first place! There’s a lesson there.
Anyway I have been reading Alawuntoherself ‘s reflections on where the best place to write is with interest. She’s tried her kitchen, a cafe and the university library and all seem to have their pros and cons. I need to have a good writing week. I have a book chapter to revise, a journal article to revise and I have a set of proofs to go through. I also have a mountain of teaching materials to pull together and new VLE sites to add content to. So I want somewhere without distractions and ideally without access to anything at all to do the proofs. I want somewhere where I can sit with my books and notes and ideas for the article and chapter and I want somewhere where I can browse for online content, youtube videos as well as more traditional academic materials for my students. So – proofs sounds like a summer house job. That might also work for the article and chapter although curled up on my sofa also sounds tempting for them – at least for the initial ‘ right let’s figure out what has to change here’ phase. I might also pop down the hill to my mum’s place – change of scenery sometimes gets the brain working and she has a breakfast bar which I like sitting at. As for the teaching materials – library would be good but I’d need headphones for the videos or podcasts I want to check. Chances of me remembering them are slim!
I do think where you write best depends on what phase of writing and thinking you’re in and what mood you’re in. I actually think variety is probably best for me. I get bored easily so I couldn’t rock up at my local cafe every day for a week and have a productive day every day. I’d get distracted and interested in other things. So, my writing plans are concentrated on Tuesday to Friday as I am in the office tomorrow and am likely to get sidetracked with post exam board queries and other pretty dull admin stuff. I’ll let you know how I get on but in the meantime do let me know if you have any writing tips and I’d love to hear your favourite writing locations.
I like to work on my masters in the local cafe as well as at home – but only in the cafe if I know roughly what I want to write/research…. otherwise I end up going round in meaningless circles for hours whilst wasting £10 on lattes!
When I wrote up my PhD, I moved back to my parents’ house. I’d start writing each morning at 9am by sticking the telly on. I’d put it on “Trisha”. Yes really! This would get me sat down, and I’d start off with some mindless stuff (ordering/inserting references etc) with that on in the background. It would also remind me that my life really wasn’t *that* terrible (compared to some!!), however endless and onerous the task felt sometimes. Then I’d turn Tricia off, and get going on the real stuff. My desk overlooked the garden. There was an apple tree directly in my line of sight. I can still see it now, in my memory.
Nowadays, I tend to do stuff like this on the sofa, once all the kids are asleep…