Of Writing, Music, Cardigans and Herman

I like to be comfortable when I write.

Not for me the laptop balanced on knee, or on a pillow in bed. I like to know that things are not going to tumble around me. If it’s chilly, I have the most indescribably disreputable cardigan that I slip on. It is not pretty. It’s old, bobble-y, shrunken, and beige. I don’t do beige as a rule, but this cardie is so beige I forget it’s there. See, comfie.

Yet I am not comfortable when I write. That cupboard of mine where I keep the computer? It’s beginning to be a problem. And I’m beginning to notice it.

Everything is the wrong height, the wrong place, the wrong size. My chair is a disaster and, OK, you don’t have to say it, the old bones don’t appreciate being squashed into silly places. This is a silly place.

I sometimes listen to music whilst writing, not often it’s true, but sometimes. Gershwin, Status Quo and Clannad and Mozart all have a place here on occasion. Usually CD’s reach the end and I don’t even notice, so deeply have I become immersed in my writing. Right now, though, if the music finishes, I notice. I no longer get comfortable enough to concentrate and that is leaving me with a problem.

For after six years of cupboard writing, I realise I am going to have to move the computer.

Now for those who write on a laptop on the train or just about anywhere, this may sound easy, but I’m not keen on the idea. For a start this is not a laptop. It is a beast of a thing. An overgrown cornflakes packet toy of a thing. Tinny and plastic-ky, black, with the noisiest fan you ever heard. I should hate it, but I don’t. The monitor is gargantuan, just the way I like it, but placed a little too high, giving me neck-ache. The slide out tray with keyboard and mouse isn’t sliding out far enough. I switch the mouse from right hand to left hand and back again with remarkable regularity, but the result is the same: more neck pain.

This is not doing me any good and if I am to continue then Herman and I have to find a new home. Herman is the computer, by the way, not the husband.

The additional problem is that I live in a little house. Quite apart from the books, my furniture is big and takes up a lot of room. It fitted into the ancient Victorian money-pit we lived in before, and I love it all. Three sofas, big wing chair, a huge dresser, two bookcases, a bureau bookcase – all these plus more squeeze into a room designed for a couple of chairs and a dining table. OK, yes I have more than that room, but they’re all stuffed to the brim. You get the picture. I don’t have a cat, but if I did, it would leave home for somewhere more spacious to swing about in.

So the move is not going to be easy and I’m not going to like it, but move I must, for the sake of my health and sanity.

Wish me luck.

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5 responses to “Of Writing, Music, Cardigans and Herman

  1. being comfortable when you are writing is sure an essential part of writing.

    • Yes and hadn’t realised that my neck pain was a direct result of not being comfortable, although I’ve done this before and ought to know better.
      However, killing two birds with one stone now – going to try writing on laptop in tiny (really tiny and full!) bedroom, but using cupboard computer for internet stuff. Which might mean I concentrate a bit more when I write and don’t get distracted by emails etc.
      Will give it a whirl and see what happens.

  2. First off: Mozart is — sigh — good music.

    Being comfortable is of utmost import. I can most often be found sitting in a wooden chair with an upright back, without a cushion. Since being constantly questioned about my enjoyment of it, I bought a folding chair that is rather comfortable; to a point. Laptops are great for maneuverability, but they’re not the best when it comes to comfort.

    Anything that helps to solidly plant your mind on writing is usually a turn for the best. I hope it works out for you.

    P.S. Gotta love those noisy fans.

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