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Monday, October 26, 2009

When and where do you write?

It would be cool to say I scribble my first drafts on the bald heads of sleeping strangers in the airport or on barstools in 5-star hotels. But I could never let my hard-won words disappear on a jet plane or be rubbed into oblivion by a stranger’s tush.

Almost all of my writing is done on my computer at my messy desk in my equally messy office. The lighting is great, my chair is comfortable, and the controls for both the ceiling fan and thermostat are within reach. If I need inspiration, I can grab one of the many books about writing on my bookshelves.

Writing at my desk poses one challenge, though. I have to pry Raggedy Andy off my chair, which is one of his favorite sleeping places. Every other piece of furniture—including the kitchen table--is his second favorite sleeping place. He's had no problem leaving his feral cat days behind. I remove the towel that's supposed to keep my chair clean, make a few futile swipes at the cat hairs, sit, and pull my wip up on the screen. After that, I’m all business except for an occasional check of my e-mails, snack and drink runs, and breaks to toss clothes in the dryer.

My ideal writing time is 8-11 a.m., but like most writers I rarely have a free day to do nothing but write. Most of my writing happens in late afternoon and early evening when I get home from my part-time job, a school visit, or one of the several writing classes I teach. On my days off I’ve been known to write for 5-6 hours at a stretch; other days I feel lucky to squeeze in 15 minutes. But whether I’m able to write for hours or minutes, I’m always glad I made the time.


Jenny O'Connell said...

Does Raggedy Andy like to lay on your papers? My cat will lay on any paper I put down next to my computer, which makes it hard to read and write on what's printed out. Sometimes I wonder if it's her way of saying, "Hey, enough with the computer, pay attention to me."

Jan Blazanin said...

Yes, and he's been known to try to sit on my keyboard while I'm typing. Very distracting!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Those cats! They are so distracting! I've had to shut mine out of my office permanently (unless one is feeling very lazy and I can get him to sit on my lap or a catbed peacefully) or else I spend more time pleading with the cat to move or get down than actually writing.