Crafting New Writing Spaces

Like everyone else, I have found the past year to be a struggle to get things done. It’s been a real challenge to keep projects moving forward, to think broadly about future work while also keeping the day-to-day afloat. Part of this challenge (again, shared with many others) is the disruption of my particular writing space.

Before we all went home last year, I did much of my writing in my office. I had spent the past five years hammering it into a space that was productive for me, one that I could adjust as needed to focus on different tasks. I actually have an earlier post about that—how the lighting, background noise, etc. could be set for different writing tasks I had set for myself. Anyway, it was a great plan, but it fell apart about two months after I started it, when I had to do my writing from home.

I won’t bore you with the details of that transition. But it wasn’t a single-shot transformation: I found myself writing in different places in my house, at different times of day, and so on. I was both sorting out a way of writing that works for me and trying to get things done at the same time. It wasn’t a blast. But, a year later, I’m writing this blog on a small desk I ended up buying, the room illuminated by a small lamp in the corner of that desk, while I sit in a very old chair that I think my wife got for free before we even got married.

And it’s a fine setup, to be sure. I can imagine that I’ll want to make some further changes, but I have, unexpectedly, found myself with a setup for writing at home that I am comfortable with. Previously, writing at home was kind of a last resort for me: I preferred to have my books at arm’s length (as they are in my office) and not to have easily-available distractions such as food, chores that need to be done, television that can be watched, and a comfortable couch where naps can be taken.

In short, I guess I’ve found myself far more comfortable creating a writing space at home than I thought I would be. I always imagined that a separate office, one with the bustle of university life nearby, would be my preferred space to write. I’ll keep thinking on this as I try to imagine my writing life in the future. I’ve got some big projects on the way, and it might be useful to have a good sense of where I’ll be taking those projects on.

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