You Don’t Need the Perfect Writing Environment
Years ago, I wrote an entire novel propped up with pillows in my bed while I hid away from my horrible roommate.
It wasn’t comfortable, it wasn’t good for my back or shoulders, but I did it because it was the only place I had to write at night while she stalked the rest of the house with her bad attitude that I couldn’t afford to rub off on me.
I would have liked to have been sitting comfortably at the kitchen table or going out to a cafe, but I was working full time and going to school full time, so the only time I had to write was at night.
Another NaNoWriMo month, I did all of my writing in library cubicle surrounded by others typing away and getting up for frequent wanderings and somehow got through the most distracted 30 days of my life with a crappy first draft.
Stephen King wrote Carrie in the laundry room of his trailer.
What this has taught me over the years is that you don’t have to have the perfect writing environment to get down to writing, and everyone’s idea of a perfect writing environment is different.
Some people excel at getting their writing done in bustling cafes, I find it too distracting without noise-canceling headphones.
Some people have to have complete solitude and no distractions or interruptions, and I’ve learned to go with the flow.
Some people have to have the right chair, the right notebook, the right writing program, the right FONT for goodness sake before they can start writing.
But believing that you have to have the right writing environment to get your work done is a myth that is holding you back.
You can write anywhere, any time, if you really want to.
Things aren’t always going to be perfect for us when it comes to where we write.
Currently, my writing spot is an old recliner in the corner of the living room, directly in front of the television that I refuse to turn on.
So yeah, it’s not ideal.
I have to take frequent breaks to get up and walk around, and I have developed a crack in my neck that I think is from sitting so long and so often in the rut of this chair.
But for now, this is what I have most of the time if I want to get my writing done first thing in the morning and do it alone(ish) without any distractions.
Pick a place, and don’t overthink it.
Don’t be precious and make a ritual out of setting up your writing space.
All you need is a laptop or notebook and you’re good to go, no matter where you are.
Psst, you don’t even need an internet connection to write!
The more you overthink your writing environment as a place that has to be perfect or even good for you, the less writing you are going to get done.
Don’t focus on the space, focus on the work.
You are a writer and you have one job:
It should not be your prerogative to cultivate an area where you think your writing will flow just because you are there.
You have to take what you can get whenever and wherever you can get it and just do the work.
Sure, there may be distractions that you have to fight through, there may be adjustments that need to be made for your comfort and bodily health, but for the most part, you can write anywhere.
Letting yourself think that you can’t is just another excuse, another form of resistance to writing.
So don’t let your surroundings get you down.
Embrace the place you have, and get to work.
Liked this? Maybe you’ll enjoy another one of my posts on writing: