This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I have to admit, I am only a part-time inhabitant of my writing space, mostly because my desk is in my bedroom and I have a husband who works shifts and can occasionally be found snoring loudly when I want to start work.
When I am there, my desk is a lovely one from John Lewis with a shelf unit on top – essential not only for the stationery it holds, but because I can stick Post-it notes to the shelves when I need to. And I need to. A lot. I have a theory that if all the Post-it notes in the world suddenly disappeared, I would be incapable of writing another book. After I’d stopped crying, of course.Aside from the lovely stationery, my desk holds copies of my books, a few adornments and my laptop. However, since a nasty bout of RSI a few years ago, I now hook my laptop up to a separate monitor on a hydraulic arm and a keyboard and mouse, so I can sit properly and not slouch. (Okay, I’m supposed not to slouch, but I do, just not as badly as I would do if I was using the laptop itself.)
I have a wooden sign that says “Hope”, bought during a difficult time to remind me that joy does indeed come in the morning, a metal sign that says “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.” that was given to me by my step-mum and step-sister, and a plastic figure of Lara Croft. I’m a total Tomb Raider geek, and I keep Lara looking down on me from the shelves to remind me to kick butt when I’m feeling wimpy!
One day I’m going to have a posh writing shed at the bottom of my garden, but until then I have to share my “office” with Snoring Man. On the days when I just need to get started, or the words aren’t flowing and the distractions of working from home are just too great (the fridge, cleaning the bathroom, Judge Judy), I go portable and take my work to a café.
I have a few favourite spots. I’m actually very picky about where I work when I’m out, but the space has to have a) a nice ambience b) a good-sized table that I can fit my notebook/laptop on without knocking my coffee over and c) decent coffee, of course! I frequently use the café at my gym and the one at my local Waitrose, but my favourite spot is Caffe Nero, for its nice-sized square tables and comfy benches. I have a particular table that I’ve labelled as ‘mine’, but have neglected to tell the staff that, so sometimes they let someone else sit there. I don’t hold it against them.
The great thing about working in a café is that I have nothing else to do while I’m there but drink coffee and write, so after a few minutes of procrastinating, I usually just knuckle down and get something done. Not only do I get to drink a nice latte, but I can leave with my halo well and truly polished. Win-win, I’d say!
The Doris Day Vintage Film Club by Fiona Harper is out now.