Another informative post here. Today I want to talk a little about writing workspaces and how they can positively and negatively influence your experience as you write. Now, I will preface this by saying that there is no reason a great novel can't be written on a laptop at the kitchen table with children running around. But I believe that you will be a quicker worker and a better worker if you have a space to write.
Now, most of us have some sort of desk at home. I have a standard computer desk that I have retrofitted with a large shelf that contains my monitor and laptop. To briefly touch on the subject of computers, I think that if you are doing a lot of writing a laptop is essential as it can be taken anywhere. However, a good keyboard is even more important, so take the time and money and invest in one that will last and is not stressful to your hands as you spend hours typing. A good monitor is also nice whether you have a laptop or a desktop. I prefer two as I can have my main manuscript up on one screen and my sketches on the other, or my notes, or this blog for helpful tips! Seriously, though, a good monitor or two can save your eyes. Also, good lighting is important to save your eyes from strain and pain. I have two lamps, one that lights the whole room and the other that serves to light my desk. I plan to move an Ott-Lite up to my room as well as those are miracle workers for the eyes.
So, we've done lighting and computers. What else? I suggest keeping a pad of paper right next to your keyboard for quick writing. If you need to make a sketch or diagram or just need to rough out some ideas a pad of paper is perfect. Just make sure you always have something with which to write.
Also helpful can be a set of good speakers (if there is no one to disturb) or a set of quality noise canceling/noise isolating headphones. I love to listen to suitable music as I write, a growing list of which can be seen on another page here (see pages to the side).
Keep all the materials you could ever need close at hand. I won't go into specifics, but any reference material, dictionaries, notes need to be close at hand.
I would love to see more workstations from viewers, so send them in!
For an accompanying picture of my workstation, please see my article written on my blog: http://www.novelprogress.blogspot.com
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