1. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    How do you get comfortable with writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The95Writer, Feb 27, 2014.

    What sort of environment do you prefer to write? I usually write in my room but my desk is not actually a proper computer desk and the screen is kind of far away. So I think this effects my comfort when I want to write. What about you? Any tips on getting comfort?
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is find a super comfortable chair. You shouldn't be straining to see the screen, or struggle with an aching neck or back after a couple of hours of writing. I find that a tidy desk, fit for purpose, is a must, as is a full stomach, warm and airy room and a cup of coffee. Oh, and a nice mix from Mixcloud usually completes the atmosphere.
     
  3. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Quiet with a comfortable chair. I'm there for a while before I start to get ideas of where I want to go next.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well everybody is different. But I'd say your first problem is your computer screen. Why is it too far away? Is it a desktop model, or a laptop, or what? I'd say do whatever it takes to get it at a comfortable height and distance, because as you get sucked into what you're writing, you'll be glued to it for a while. Backache, stiff neck and eyestrain will NOT contribute to a comfortable experience.

    I think the accepted wisdom is that the TOP of your computer screen should be at eye level, so that when you write you're actually looking slightly downwards, and NOT craning your neck upwards. Unfortunately many office computers, especially those which are only in use part time (to confirm appointments, etc) are often placed at a very awkward angle. Sometimes even to the side of the user. Or even worse, the monitor is plopped on top of the processor, to make it sit high up on the desk and diminish the overall 'footprint.' It makes me cringe every time I see this happening.

    If the desk is not a proper desk, why not try to get one? It doesn't have to be fancy, or even new. Look on eBay to see what might be available. Or ...put it around your circle of friends that you need a proper desk. I know the one I use is an old large office desk. It's not pretty, but it's sturdy as hell with a wooden slab top, a metal frame and drawer slots, has drawers down both sides, is at a comfortable height, has PLENTY of workspace for my computer (a MacMini with bits and bobs, speakers, printer, monitor, keyboard and mouse) as well as space for anything I might be copying or revising. It cost us £25 some years ago, from a used office store outlet. I wouldn't trade it for any other desk I've seen. Sometimes old is better.

    And of course you need a comfortable computer chair. Preferably one with an adjustable height, back angle tilt, etc. These are available from all sorts of places these days, and are very affordable, even when new. However, you could also keep an eye peeled for used ones. Offices often redecorate, and their used furniture is put up for sale, very very cheaply.

    Also pay attention to lighting. You should not rely on your computer screen to light your workspace. That's eyestrain waiting to happen. Make sure you have proper lighting surrounding you. It doesn't have to be bright, but it should definitely be there. I have a lamp with a 60watt bulb on one side of my desk, and a 40watt clip-on light on one of my left-hand drawer pulls. These are always on at night, when I'm working. During the day, I get plenty of light from my large side window.

    Then ...whatever else makes you comfortable. I quite like @jazzabel 's environment. Warmth, coffee ...all that other good stuff.

    But first of all, get that computer screen sorted!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I write wherever it comes to me. I have a writing app on my phone that syncs to Scrivener on my computers so that no matter where I am, when something comes to me, I can write and it's there waiting for me when I get home.
     
  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Comfort, to me, does not involve sitting at a desk. It reminds me too much of school. I sit in lotus position or recline on my bed. This means I have to be aware of my back though—good posture always. I use my flat screen as a monitor, and a wireless optical mouse and keyboard.

    @jannert makes a very important point about lighting. I fell into this trap many years ago, and wondered why I was getting so many headaches.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sofa, footrest so I can prop my legs up straight, and my laptop on a breakfast tray. You know, one of those trays fitted on top of a beanbag, made for breakfast in bed. Been using that for my laptop for years. Water to the side, and probably some chocolate :) Oh, and don't forget your favourite music.
     
  8. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    That is some great advice. I never thought about looking for a used desk or anything.
    The height is fine, it is just the distance, the leg space and the placement of the keyboard are the main problems.

     
  9. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    For my casual writing and creativing planning stages I like to be on my couch, in bed, or my oversized and cushioned rocker. I usually like some sort of background noise...could be the tv, radio, or even my kids running amok! And of course, some munchies and drinks. Really, anywhere will do.

    When I'm in "the zone" or just ready to move on into a more serious writing phase, I do best in a more formal setting at my desk with a proper chair, zero distractions and noises, and maybe a beverage which I usually forget I have sitting there. I'm a very visual person and use loose paper notes, notebooks, and folders of article scraps and other references, not to mention a thesaurus and dictionary, so I need space to create my organized mess. With that criteria, I usually only get stuff done when the rest of the house is asleep. It fits with my night owl disposition, I suppose.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have a good office desk. Nice big surface with my laptop and HP LaserJet 100 printer/scanner/copier on it. I have a good office chair, too, that tilts comfortably and provides back support. I tore up the carpet and underpad under the chair so that it rolls around on the bare concrete - much better that way.

    My problem is that, even though I have this nice desk, I clutter it up almost instantly. Right now it's pretty clear, because I dumped a bunch of crap off it yesterday, but it usually has a dictionary, a mug full of pens and Sharpies, an external drive, a little hot plate for coffee, a big ol' obsolete phone, a calculator, a box of Kleenex, a pad of paper, mousepad ... it all adds up! Even when it's clean, it's cluttered!

    I just got back from a long spell of being in my bedroom. Pretty much the whole football season. I have my own TV in there, so I can watch the games and be online at the same time. Here at my desk I can't do that. My bedroom has problems because it has nowhere near the amount of space I have here at my office desk, and I have to sit on the edge of my bed to use my computer in there. That's hard on the back, and I get tired easily.

    So actual work (writing) is much easier here at my office desk than it is in my bedroom. I just have to make it a point to keep the desk clean! :)
     

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