A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work
will die without putting a word on paper.
— E.B. White
If Goldilocks were a writer, she’d have starved.
As I sit down to write, I’m surrounded by more noise than air.
People stampeding out of the office for lunch and walking with gusto to their chosen eateries.
One gentleman’s footstep is as disproportionate to his physique as an elephant stomp is to an army ant. Seriously, my monitor shakes every time he walks by. Crazy-making? Oh. Yeah.
The offices below are undergoing widespread renovation, and I’m pretty sure that the offices upstairs are holding Celtic dance auditions. And the people who are auditioning suck at their craft.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was all a cosmic scheme to keep me from writing.
But I do know better. In fact, I know this fundamental truth.
There is no write place.
I know that home has its own set of auditory challenges. Cars, neighbors, lawn equipment. A Sweetie who occasionally has one of those this-will-never-be-quick questions regarding the unknown location of [insert lost kitchen utensil].
Hats off to those of you with children.
I also know that the local coffee house is no quieter. Boisterous conversation, espresso machines, bean grinders and that too-frequent patron who’ll look over your shoulder and — right next to your ear — ask “Whatcha doin’?”
Let’s see…I’ve got my ear buds in, I’ve built a fort out of the extra chairs , and if I focus any harder, I’ll become one with my laptop. Take a wild guess, Skippy?
There’s also not always a write time.
Right now, it’s the middle of a sunny Seattle day. I’ve eaten, charged my iPod and should be ready to scratch out something worthwhile.
Instead, my brain is both overloaded by the morning’s tasks and spasming through this afternoon’s To Do list.
Tonight I’ll be tired from putting in a full day of I-get-paid-for-this professional grade thinking. And after dinner, I’ll be more likely to go to bed than bond with my keyboard.
What’s that you say? Get up early? Tried that once. Came up with:
What the *beep* am I do up this early? This is such crap! There’s no *beep* way I can come up with anything good to say this *beep* early. I hate this *beep*. How productive am I supposed to tbe anyway? I’m no guru and I’mn never gopnna be either. Who do they think they are? Where do they get off telling em to drag my fat *beep* out ouf be this damn early. I swear, if I hear one more person tell me that gettingup is good for me, they can write this *beep* for me if they’r so *beep* good at it!!!!!!!!!
Clearly, 4:00 a.m. does not bring out the best in me.
Perfect writing conditions are hard to come by. So stop waiting for the write time. Or the write place. Just write.
It’s that simple.
Okay, back to work.
If you had power over your writing environment, what would your ideal writing conditions be?