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How To Create The Perfect Study

Writers write. Some are picky. Others don't care if it's on the back of a menu from Wong's Pizza. We all write somewhere. The few who are too obsessed to wait, even write on toilet paper. Long ago I was guilty of that. I still have the 19 squares somewhere in my possession. That poem won me a new desk set. One word of caution. Recycle is not an appropriate word in bathroom writing.

Most of us seem to write better in some environments than others. Personally, I can't write worth a damn when my household is active. Thus my bat like habits. And I have a tough time working in ink anymore. Poetry yes. But articling, web content or humor, the keyboard is my friend. Inspiration and creativity can be affected by the space we work in.

The following is a guide to designing the perfect work environment for writing. Here you will find a list of helpful hints for making that space your own.

- Make sure your chair is comfortable, but not sleep inducing. A comfortable chair is a must. It prevents foot swelling, back curvature and heavy gas buildup.

- If you must drink coffee (a recent poll shows that 97% of writers subsist on coffee alone for 83% of their work week) please provide a space for yourself to place your drink AWAY from your keyboard. Fellow humorists who send you email with excerpts from their latest work cannot be held accountable for keyboard damage from sprayed beverages. Windowsills work well as coffee holders. The next time you pick up your cup, you find it that perfect temperature...just this side of cold. What could be more familiar?

- When stocking up on office supplies, buy larger quantities of paper clips, stick up notes, and rubber bands. The patent office archives are bulging with designs from procrastinating writers. Be ready for the inevitable.

- If in doubt as to what kind of computer you wish to invest in, ensure that it has some of the following comfortably familiar least one stuck key (provides diversion and pause for thought), 3 unlabeled disks. Similar to unlabelled tins of food, unlabelled disks can bring you hours of enjoyment as your family thinks you're working hard on your latest deadline. Caution - insert and explore the contents of unlabelled disks in the privacy of your new study, alone. That missing adult file may just have surfaced.

- For the lady writers, (and perhaps a few of the men) keep a tray of your favorite nail varnish colours handy. You have your timing down perfectly. One good coat and dried by the end of a page. Why not take advantage of an already established habit?

- For the gentlemen writers, (and perhaps a few women) keep your electric razors, nail clippers and a small mirror handy. These personal maintenance jobs are perfect for wasting up to a third of your writing day.

- To ensure complete success, do set up your "lucky" spot. Any item you feel reflects your creative desires, lucky streaks, favorite deity, muse or magazine. Each has a way of enticing your creative flow. What would a work space be without clutter? Flat, unamusing and a real downer.

- For optimal practice, the scrap bin must be at least seven feet from your chair. With seven to nine feet, you can perfect your arc to the bin and make the basket every time.

- Your perfect space must have a window. Unlike my writing window which looks out onto a lovely flat brick wall, try to give yourself a window with some life beyond the glass. Nature can create a fascinating vista for time wastage.

- Finally, the most important thing you should remember about the perfect writing space. Never let a pen/pencil and paper near the place. No writer should find a pen when they need one. This throws the creative equilibrium completely out of whack, leaving the writer a mere shadow, clutching the pen tightly in hand, staring at it with bloodshot eyes, wondering just what this thing might be.


Copyright 2001


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