I’ve written in lots of different places and ways depending on what I was doing and how I was feeling. For example:
- Dodgy handwriting with temperamental biros in tiny notebooks on trains.
- Straight into a pad of plain A4 paper whilst sitting under a hedge next to a fishing pond half a mile from my parent’s house.
- Best handwriting in fountain pen into a beautiful lined pad whilst sat at the kitchen table.
- Typing into my laptop in the sunshine in the Italian Garden on Bath Spa campus (allegedly where Prince Phillip proposed to the Queen…before it was a University).
- Curled on the sofa trying to type with Tori periodically toddling over and bashing the keyboard and CBeebies babbling away on the T.V.
But my favourite place of all to write? At my desk.
I say ‘my desk’ as if I have one. I currently don’t and it is driving me mad because I just can’t settle into my writing properly without one.
At my parent’s house I had a Captain’s Bunk style bed which had a desk built in the bottom of it – it’s a bit dark due to being walled in under the bed but once you’ve got yourself a lamp in the right place it’s cosy and great for losing yourself in. I spent many hours there doing homework, coursework, writing letters and scrawling down stories and plans.
My first year at uni provided the best desk I have ever seen. It was massive – the entire width of the room. I was sat looking out of the window at a view of Victoria Park on the hill opposite and could watch the Hot Air Balloons taking off and sailing away into the distance. I had enough space for all my uni folders, my general writing paraphernalia, heaps of books, a toaster, a kettle and all manner of other crap without ever ‘running out of room’. It was a dream desk. Well worth putting up with my less than wonderful flatmates for. I miss that desk.
The next two years at uni were less good. Our house was amazing, it was big and roomy and had everything we needed (sadly it was also at the top of an incredibly tall, steep hill, but you can’t have everything) – but the desk in my bedroom was pathetic. It was a square surface, built into an alcove in the corner of the room. It was bright because it was by the window and, thankfully, said window had an incredibly deep windowsill. This was great because it almost doubled the size of the desk and I was able to spread out onto there a little. Seriously, once my laptop was on the desk there was enough room for a glass of water and a pen pot and that was it. Not ideal but still, it was my desk and I loved it.
At home I have the kitchen table, which is no use because it’s miles from any sockets and, due to my battered and temperamental laptop’s need to be constantly plugged in, results in cable everywhere tripping everyone up. Usually me. Also, it needs clearing every time we want to eat so there’s no chance of leaving research books open and notebooks strategically placed.
Or I have the sofa but sitting there often involves fighting off Tori, the distraction of our 47” HD TV, the feeling that I’m relaxing and thus should be on Facebook and the fact that it’s not the comfiest place once you have a laptop balanced on your knee.
Or there’s bed. That sometimes works because there’s no T.V. and no Tori however there is still the whole issue that being in bed makes me want to sleep. Plus my laptop often gets so hot I’m afraid of it spontaneously combusting.
So, one of the things I am aiming to do in 2011 is to get myself a desk. Nothing fancy, just a place I can go to sit and write and think. Away from distractions and just uncomfortable enough to keep me awake whilst I’m there. Somewhere I can plonk my Encyclopaedia of Mythical Creatures and my High School Musical notebook full of vital character notes and not worry about having to move them to prevent them from being covered in gravy or ‘rearranged’ by a certain 17 month old on a mission.
Maybe then some of my WIPs will start to progress at more than a few hundred words a month and I will stop being so frustrated by not being able to settle myself down and write. New Baby and Tori allowing of course – they will always be there to distract me. But Tori naps and I’m sure I can learn to type and breastfeed at the same time…
How about you? Where do you like to write?