What is your ideal workspace for writing? In my head, I imagine a cabin in the mountains. A log crackles in the fire as I sit at my vast but spartan desk. Through the window I can see snow gently falling. These are the only distractions as I type vigorously, the inspiration rushing over me like a fever.
Yeah, my real workspace is nothing like that. As I write this, I’m sitting with my back against the armrest, my legs stretched out until they nearly reach the other end of the tiny couch. I live in a small condo in downtown Austin, Texas. It’s near 100 degrees Fahrenheit today, and the air conditioning struggles to keep pace. You don’t have to listen long to hear the firetrucks racing from the fire station across the street. My condo is noisy, hot, and cramped, and I love it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d still like to have that cabin in the woods some day, but I find couch writing quite manageable. Sure, I could sit at my desk and write, but I sit at a desk eight or nine hours a day at work, just staring at a computer all day. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit at a desk. So I sprawl out on the couch, and I write.
Now that’s not to say there aren’t concessions. The ergonomics are quite bad. My neck is bent at an awkward angle, sometimes for hours. My arms are pinched inward until I look like some sort of brainy T-Rex. And there’s a reason manufacturers now call laptops “notebooks.” They can get quite warm. Not hot enough to burn, mind you, but warm enough to be uncomfortable in your lap on a hot summer day. Let’s just say there can be perspiration and leave it at that.
But you know what? Once I start writing, I mean when I really get going, all that goes out the window. I forget all the minor annoyances and lose myself in the fantasy world I’ve created. I can go for hours, ergonomics be damned. I guess what I’m trying to say is my ideal workspace is the place I feel most comfortable, not necessarily in body, but in mind.
For me, that’s always been home.