As you would be aware I am doing John Saddington’s 10 Days to a Better Blog workshop and todays task is to write about my optimal writing environment. When I first read the topic I thought easy, I have a laptop, I can write anywhere, but nothing is ever that easy.
Point in case was yesterdays exercise Why do I write. It took me about 4 hours to finish the task, now the actual writing only took 15 minutes, the rest of the time was taken up with nappy changes, cuddles, JJ’s breakfast, swimming lessons. You get the point.
I started thinking about JJ and in particular his bedtime routine. How its evolved to being a very simple and painless exercise each evening. JJ has never been the type of child that you could put down in a cot (he hated his cot, but that is for another time), he has always liked to have either his mum or me close by when he goes to sleep.
His night time routine is after dinner and his bath we head off to his room and he plays for a while, watches one of his favourite shows on the iPad, has his bedtime milk drink or as is more usually the case, does all three things plus climb all over mum or dad at the same time. You have to love multitasking toddler style, but I digress. Eventually he hits that point when you know it is time for him to go to sleep, and this is where the nightly routine has evolved.
Initially we would turn off the light, pick him up and rock him to sleep. Some nights his head would be down and he would be half asleep before you sat down. Other nights it would take some rocking but after 5 or 10 minutes off he would go. Some nights he would fight it, there would be tears, screaming and at some point over the next half over he would slip off to sleep. Then there were the nights that he would go to sleep only to wake up the moment you lay him down in the bed.
We then changed things up, instead of nursing him to sleep, after the light went out we put him straight to bed and either his mum or I would lie down beside him (JJ has his own double bed so there is plenty of room). This worked well for about a month, before he started just getting out of bed, picking up his drink, sit down at the top of the stairs and start crying. Thats when we stumbled across the optimum environment for JJ at this time. The only change to what we had been doing for the previous month was we shut the bedroom door. With his room nice and dark, he would wriggle around the bed for about 5 minutes and go off to sleep.
Now we are under no illusions that is will be permenant, it is going to evovle over time, but it is just a matter of finding that optimal environment for JJ.
So what does all this have to do with me and the optimal environment for my writing? For starters I don’t know what my optimal environment for writing is. I’ve only just started my journey with writing and I’m still working out what helps and what hinders my writing. What do I know already
- I need either silence or to be listening to some relaxing music (I say relaxing cause it cannot have any words or lyrics, for many years Tony O’Conner has been my favourite artist when I need to drown out the background noise).
- Early mornings before anyone else (yes I am looking at you JJ) wakes up.
- I need to turn off all other distractions, email, twitter etc, only have my writing app open (Desk of course).
Some of the things that I want to exlore to see what works for me include
- Computer – I have both a desktop (iMac with duel monitors) and a laptop (macbook pro) and while I am really enjoying using and writing on the Macbook, I need to explore using both and see what is best for me. If it is one or the other or both depending on what I want to achieve.
- What location suits me best, in my home office, sitting in the lounge room or at the dining room table, maybe at a coffee shop or a park bench. I know I am avoiding my office at the moment and I need to spend time working out why, what do I need to change to make it a place I want to work.
- I have been hearing a lot about standing desks and how good they are, this is something I am eager to explore
- How to capture my ideas and thoughts that I want to write about. At the moment I am writing more top of head, but I know that I have to start jotting down ideas. Is this in a notepad or capturing them on the computer/iphone?
While I don’t know what my optimal writing environment is, I know that I have plenty of ideas to explore and try, and as with most things the journey is often what it is all about.
P.S. I got three quarters the way through this writing task before JJ woke this morning. Oh well their is always tomorrow, and I may just have to start a little earlier.