Jason likes total silence when he's writing. Jason might soundproof his garage today.
As a newer writer since the beginning of this year, I’ve quickly realized the importance of having a wonderful place to do your writing. There are a number of variables involved and while they are likely different for everyone, there are certain things that work well for me.
Before I get into them, let me just say that this career change toward writing would have NEVER worked out 10 years ago. Having three small children in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade would have ended the dream before I even woke up from it.
“DAD! What’s for breakfast? Daddy, why does Mommy have to go to work and you stay home on your computer all day. DADDY! I THINK I PLUGGED THE TOILET AGAIN! THE WATER IS ALL OVER THE BATHROOM FLOOR!”
Hey-Soos Marimba. How am I ever supposed to compose funny, entertaining blogs with these feral children running around like rats on a sinking ship? Why the hell aren’t they in school? Oh, it’s June. *Long shudder, followed by three quick eye-twitches.
Yeah. So this would have never been a feasible career move back in 2012. However, now that they’re a freshman in college, a senior in high school, and a junior in high school, it’s far more manageable. Kids today seem to be in their own little bubble. With their fancy devices, talking to their own social group of friends. I worry that I’m bugging them more than they are disturbing me.
That’s one of the issues for me as a writer, however. I have to have quiet. Silence is best. If I hear them laughing like hyenas in the next room or even from downstairs, I immediately get distracted and my train of thought derails faster than the one chasing Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. Things can get ugly fast.
I’ve learned that I do my best writing in the morning, earlier afternoon, and late at night. The kids are generally at school in the morning for most of the year. My Bride is at her counseling practice from morning to early evening. Even my dog is quiet and just lays against my leg snoozing while I type.
Things go well until I get hungry. Then Libby (Mooch) and I are always ready for a snack. Being distracted by hunger sounds kind of silly, but it’s still another distraction. We pause to get breakfast or lunch downstairs and bring it back up to my bedroom.
She gives me that wide-eyed beggar’s stare. Not unlike Puss in Shrek, when he’s holding his hat in his hands with giant eyes. Reminds me of those portraits of Jesus that you see in little old lady’s homes. Mooch looks up at me as if to say, “Will you do my will, and feed me?” She knows an easy mark when she sees one.
We move the feeding upstairs, I like to keep working away while eating. Libby likes to work at mooching while I’m eating. She’s honed her craft quite well over the five years we’ve been together. I remind her that salads and fruits are better, and if she doesn’t quit, she’s going to look like a party balloon. She chastises me for fat-shaming her and I apologize by giving her a few tiny bites of my lunch.
I originally planned to use a spare desk and comfy office chair in our bedroom to do my writing. We have a large bedroom and there was plenty of room for that setup in there. I even had a second monitor to connect to my laptop, for when I needed to do research for content writing. This lasted exactly one day.
I realized quickly that I didn’t particularly enjoy Libby being on our bed alone without me. Even though I could spin my chair around and pet her at any time. This still wasn’t acceptable. So we decided I’d sit on the bed with a side table next to me for my laptop, snacks, and drinks. You know, the essentials of a writer. And his little dog, too.
This works out well when nobody is home. Or when my Bride is sleeping next to me. She goes to bed by 10 pm every night and that affords me 2 or 3 hours to get my writing done in the dark. I love it dark. I don’t have a light on in the room when I’m writing, day or evening. The warm glow of my laptop is all I want or need.
I’ll usually work on my blog later at night, to be ready to post by the next morning. Then I’ll work on content writing after the blog posting in the morning, all the way through the afternoon. Having a set routine and schedule most days very much helps keep me on track as a writer.
I don’t take weekends off from writing. While I may or may not cut back the time I spend on it, I definitely keep active. I have a lot to say, and quite a bit going on between my content writing and blogging. I’m glad I enjoy writing as much as I do. It’s nice to spend hours and hours doing something and not feeling bored with it. My work is more of a passion than a career.
As much as I love working from home with my Libby most days, there’s a second place that I love to write. Maybe even more than at home. This would be my Bride’s counseling practice.
I used this place on weekends for about half the day or so, give or take. It’s a very large office with giant windows, a large L-shaped desk, a couch and chaise lounge chair, and even has a fireplace. It’s in an older office building that’s a 5-minute or less drive from our house.
It’s so convenient to get here and use. We made a second set of keys when I first started writing, once I realized I needed half days alone on the weekends to keep active with my writing. She loves to listen to music or TV when she’s working on her artwork at home, and I want her to be able to do that. She’s an incredible artist.
Once I realized I needed a quiet place to write when she and the kids were home, there was no question about offering her office to me. I love that about her. She supports my dreams and goals fully, and that means everything to me. As I sit here finishing this blog on a late Saturday morning in silence, I applaud her and thank her for providing this wonderful venue to me.
Nobody else comes in on the weekends. It’s so quiet, and perfect. I close the blinds when I get here, turn off all the lights and start typing away. In a peaceful serene setting like this, I can crank out about 1200 words in half an hour to 45 minutes. I just did that.
So find your wheelhouse for comfort when you’re writing. Whether it’s at home or an office, in a coffee shop, or surrounded by snacks and little dogs begging for you to share them, find it. Then do the most important thing you can do as a writer. Keep writing.