My writing desk sits in the middle of the only living area in my small, two-bedroom condo. (When I say small, understand that my kitchen has less counter space than some office desks.) The living area is home to the dinner table, my daughter’s toys, the television set, and two bookshelves.
Oh yeah, and my desk, which has no cupboards in which to hide printers and such, so I have to go out to the porch where my printer is hidden in my storage wardrobe.
These past two nights, I’ve discovered two great ways to make writing happen, instead of just thinking and talking about writing but not actually doing it.
1) Earplugs – I discovered these last night. You can buy these little life changers at any drug store, and they are amazing. Before earplugs, I would have been too distracted to write when my husband watched his Seinfeld reruns. With the earplugs, I don’t hear anything going on, and writing happens.
2) Preparing for writing ahead of time – Because my desk is in the middle of the room, I have to make sure everything is boxed up and put away after I’m done. I pull out the computer plug and place it in a box. I push my computer under another, more decorated box. I then put all my writing notes in…you guessed it: a clear box, which I hide under the desk in a white basket. I replace the gargoyle in the middle of the hutch, put the child-proof outlet cover back on the outlet, and move my kitchen chair back to the kitchen table.
As you can imagine, I have to do the same amount of work to get ready to write. Tonight, I discovered that preparing my workspace earlier in the evening 1) gives me more time to write and 2) eliminates excuses. I almost decided I was too tired to write tonight, but because I had already prepared my work space, I went ahead and spent about an hour on my latest project. Who would have thought that taking time to prepare my space earlier in the evening would help me that much?
What about you? What have you found helps you make the best of your writing environment–even when it’s not ideal?