Keep the coffee brewing

I haven’t actually done any writing, but my brain is abuzz with ideas. I’ve been developing races and religions, political fallouts and schisms and histories. I’ve considered differing hierarchical structures and what military actions would be appropriate for the culture in question. Yet the actual task of sitting down and writing these things, of even making notes about them, eludes me.

While Brenda and I were having lunch today, it occurred to me what one of my (many) problems is in regards to writing. In the past, one of two features were always present in my writing time/space. I was either 1) outside or 2) near a window I could stare out for long periods of time. I may not always like being outside (I’m a climate-control kind of guy), but I love looking outside, and so have always placed my desk where I can look out a window easily. In the apartment we live in, however, there are very few windows, and no feasible way to place my desk where I can see outside.

Therefore, when I sit at my desk, I’m staring into a corner. You’d think this would be a good thing, having no distractions, nothing to catch my eye and set my mind to wandering. The problem is that I, apparently (though I had never considered this before lunch today), need mental space to be able to accomplish anything. I need to be able to stare off and let part of my mind be occupied with one thing (observation, categorization, thinking about whatever) while another part works out what I want my fingers to do. Sometimes I wouldn’t even think about what I was writing, I’d just set my fingers to typing and look at it later.

Where I sit now, that’s not possible. I kicked back in my chair and turned to stare at the wall a couple of weeks ago, and that was OK. But I still couldn’t generate a lot of work (I think I managed a page or so of text). I need to be able to look out, to see people walking past or the birds and squirrels in the trees. Otherwise, I start browsing on the Internet, and that requires active participation which then ties up the part of my brain I need for writing.

In about a year, we’re going to be house shopping. I’ve considered that we need a room just for instruments, but I think this need has become paramount: to have a place for my desk where I can look out a window. I may need a different desk, but that’s fine, so long as I can look outside and write more peacefully again.

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