Last year I was given a great piece of writing advice: “Don’t be so precious with your process.” How much time do we spend talking about the right or wrong chair, desk, noise level, playlist, snack, etc? There’s something to be said for having a chair and keyboard that don’t cause you pain, but while we might have some kind of “ideal work environment” in mind, how likely is it to have that all the time?
Last summer I managed to get away from NYC a few times to what I thought would be close to an ideal writing environment: Smalltown Connecticut, sunroom with a view, no responsibility, limited cell service. And you know what? I was so distracted! I couldn’t stop watching all the crazy birds and animals in the yard. I got too hot in the middle of the day, then too cold when the sun went down. The pull of fun outdoorsy things was strong (bike rides and tubing down the river), as was watching romantic comedies on TV with a grandma. I managed to get work done, but it was usually at night, hunched over my netbook on the camp bed.
The ideal writing environment is a myth, at least for me. As much as I like to tell myself I’d get a ton of writing done in a remote cabin somewhere, probably I’d just nap the whole time and be worried about crazy people in the woods. Continue reading