Today, I’m writing from location in the beautiful Shihoro Integrated Training Center Library, waiting for my kid’s badminton practice to finish.
We’ve talked about home offices before on Eight Ladies. Most recently, Nancy remodeled to reflect her new career goals. Kat gave thanks for her tidy office last November. A dedicated writing space can be not only practical, but a real talisman. It says, “I AM devoted to having a writing life, and I make space in my life, my home and my schedule for it.”
But there are many roads to Oz, as Jenny says, and it can be very productive to have a mobile writing kit so that we can write on the run. Michille touched on this in her post about a cool new writing notebook, and how she used it while squiring her kid around.
My kit consists of:
*My computer. Any writing utensils will do. I like that mine has a USB modem so I can connect to internet resources like the Merriam-Webster dictionary anywhere in Japan – but when it’s time to just write, I can disconnect the modem so I’m not tempted to “look up just one thing.” Of course, paper and pencil are very satisfying writing materials, and studies have shown that writing longhand makes the brain process things differently – and we all need to take a different view of our processes every once in a while. Use a folder or binder to keep the papers from getting ruffled in transport. You can tie or tape your pencil on, too. Just use a paper punch to punch a sturdy hole.
*Earbuds and something to listen to. I have two old “Brain Wave Theta” tracks by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. At first, the new-spiritual sounds helped me block out my surroundings and go deep into my writing. But now, just listening to the track makes me think, “Oh. Writing time.” I only use it for writing. You can use anything you like – classical, the soundtrack to your novel that you’ve compiled, or whatever says “writing time” to you. If you work best in silence, look into noise-cancelling headphones. At any rate, people are less likely to bother you if you are wearing headphones or obvious earbuds.
*Lucky item. I wish I weren’t superstitious, but the human brain looks for omens and patterns in everything in a desperate attempt to predict the future. My lucky writing item is my mousepad, which looks like a magic carpet. I like looking at it and thinking, “OK, now it’s time for adventure!”
*A reward. My monkey gets sushi today after I finish writing. I also like Lindt chocolates when I’m working on the community center at the top of a local department store. You could treat your monkey to some nice music, a fun game, some trashy journalism, or anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Writing is its own reward, but it’s lovely to recognize that your monkey has been dragged out of its comfort zone into an exciting and stimulating new space. The reward should be a nice transition from Writing Space back to Real World.
Do you write on the go? What tricks or tips do you use to get into writing abroad?