My boyfriend has a pretty nice desktop set-up as his personal computer. More than once, he’s told me he doesn’t understand why I don’t want the same, and I instead rely on my laptop. When I first got my own laptop in 2004, I thought it was the coolest possible way to write. I didn’t even get wireless in my house for another four years. (Late to the game, I know.) At first I was just writing essays for school (and the occasional creative work, of course), but when I became a freelance writer, I’d go the extra step of going online with my desktop with its wired Internet connection, getting assignments and going back to my laptop to write. Why? Because I like to be comfy when I write!
Over time, my “office” set up evolved. Despite loving the portability of my laptop, I actually didn’t like keeping it on my lap. I missed my mouse. (“Why be so stubborn and keep using the laptop?” the boyfriend asks.) So once I finally got wireless connectivity, I turned to something aimed at college students: a small laptop desk, which I’ve upgraded from ugly plain plastic to faux wood over the years. It allows me to angle the laptop (a must, since I prefer to type at an angle) and there’s space for a mouse, too. I work on a futon bed (half folded up to provide back support) every day and it’s pretty sweet! (This is not where I sleep, by the way. Who sleeps in their “office”? Ha.)
I do have a crude desk and a nice desk chair (the latter courtesy of the boyfriend, trying to tempt me to a traditional desktop set-up, perhaps) I use for a bit a few times a week when I feel like a change. I also once tried to type at a desk on my porch, but I couldn’t see the screen too well with the bright outdoor light. (I’m not much of an outdoorswoman anyway!) I’ve also done some work on my boyfriend’s netbook at a Starbucks a few times and even once at a McDonald’s (the latter of which was incredibly icky…) out of necessity while on the go, although I don’t recommend it. Personally, I prefer being alone when I work. And I love listening to music (mostly film, TV show and video game soundtracks–I can’t listen to songs with lyrics when I work or I stop working and start singing!), not hearing the “Whirrr….” of coffee being made. Of course, in college, I worked in the library a few times, but I borrowed the school’s laptops to do so; I’ve always been strangely protective of my laptop and refuse to bring it anywhere outside of the home. (What if it breaks?! I wouldn’t even bring a laptop on my vacations until I had a new one and could bring the older model. It’s heavier, but at least I wouldn’t be crushed if it broke or got lost.)
My cat loves my strange “office” set-up, too! She sometimes sits on my legs and other times curls under the desk, blocking me from stretching out my legs. (Just kick her out? Never!)
Where do you write? Does the environment in which you write affect your concentration? Do you like listening to anything when you write?