Updated 2017: a lot of changes have taken place since I wrote this post over two years ago. My most current desk setup is here. One thing I’ve come to learn is that having a good writing space is important. For some, the room has to be just right. Darkness, music, closed doors. For others, like myself, I don’t need as much. I think it’s worth breaking down to a more manageable conversation.
Some folks like to keep the room dark, some like it brightly lit. I’m in between. I have a free-standing lamp from IKEA that uses two bulbs and the shades are a fogged white. The bulbs themselves are hybrid 75-watt-incandescent-20-watt-cfl. This allows the lamp to be immediately lit with bright, warm light from the incandescent bulbs while the CFLs are warming up. When they have, the bulbs automagically switch over and you notice little change. At first I thought this was awesome but I’ve come to find out that GE makes simple CFLs that don’t need any warming in 75w-equivalent sizes for roughly $7 bucks a piece. Future lights in that lamp will be of that variety, for sure. Until then, I’m content with my moderate lighting setup. It’s not too bright (like an office), which I hate, because I feel it’s distracting, and it’s not super dark, because that would put me to sleep. Plus, I feel staring at an LCD screen in the pitch dark is more traumatizing to my eyes than it’s worth, really.
This is my first post in this challenge and on my blog in particular where I wrote it before 6AM. I decided yesterday to hack my morning routine and start getting up earlier, to the more natural rhythm of my sleep cycles. I’ve almost got it down, already, just need a few more tweaks. To assist in the morning energization of my mind, a nice hot cup of coffee from my no-fuss Keurig coffee maker is a must. I don’t have time to grind and crap.
I like listening to classical music while I’m at work. It keeps me in a calm state, so I figured I’d give it a try while writing. As I write this post, I’m listing to a rather even playlist of classical music deemed for concentration on Spotify, the best $10/month investment in the world. Seriously, if you’re not in the market to spend a ton on music (classical is super cheap, anyway, so perhaps you should just go buy a few compilation albums for a couple bucks each on Amazon), Spotify is the way to go. I have so much classical music in several locations: roughly 4 days worth, end-to-end, from Amazon Music, that I spent a grand total of $6 on, a few albums from iTunes, and a half-dozen playlists on Spotify.
In the past, I’ve had bouts where I haven’t written in months, and this point of this exercise is to reflect on wether my environment is the reason for it. In my case, I’m pretty happy with where I’m sitting, in my 2nd-bedroom-turned-office. My struggle hasn’t really been with my environment, but more with my dedication to writing, and just doing it more. I get bored with things, easily, if I stop having motivation to do them, including writing. I’ve written several things in the past that I thought were really good but shortly thereafter, I stopped feeling like writing, in favor of doing other things. This time around, writing will be a part of my daily routine, no matter what I haven’t quite figured out what time of day yet, as this morning I started this at 5AM, but yesterday I started at 5:30PM. I guess so long as I’m writing every day, I can hammer out the finer points of my routine as I find a rhythm that I like. Until then, I just need to keep putting words to paper.