It’s a Curious Feeling

This writing business has some weird juju to it. There are ritual forms that have to be observed. they’re different for virtually every writer, as near as I can tell.

My ritual is a bit simplified. I have a designated chair in the livingroom that I prop a piece of particle board across (whilst sitting in it) and balancing my PowerBook G4 across the board to form a rudimentary sort of desk with a natural partition. This plus a set of earphones and a PC mouse form the basis of my office. I can bring food into my office, but I usually have to either bring the stool with me for something to rest the food on, or I have to ‘leave the door open’; balancing the board and laptop on one arm while I sit sideways and reach foodstuffs from the livingroom table. Today I have a raisin bagel with light cream cheese and a glass of orange juice with pulp (I love pulp), sitting on the stool to my right.

My occasional coffee-with-chocolate or the obligatory cold tea mug usually rests on one of the cleared out spaces on my wife’s book shelves that sit to the left of the chair. That would technically make it her chair, but really, she’s better off with her Sony eReader on the sofa. So the chair is more or less mine (except when she claims it while I work from my desk doing graphics and such).

And besides, this is where my drawing table used to rest, so I’ve spent a lot of time in this corner of the room creating. There’s a kind of vibe here. A lot of channeled energy, you might say. In this spot, I can place my lever and move the world.

And that’s the ritual. Same chair. Same laptop. Sometimes with food. Sometimes with beverage. Sometimes with a cushion for my bad back (like today). It’s the location, the artificial separation, and the intent that make it special. Work gets done here.

Let’s hope today is a good day for work. I have a whole novella to proofread and publish today or I turn to dust.



  1. The ritual is interesting. I do a fair bit of advertising writing. I find I need time to ‘not think’ about the project and then to be under pressure to deliver to a deadline. Otherwise, I tend to turn out pretty mediocre stuff. The ‘not thinking’ time is essential. The mind works away on it while I am oblivious. Very nice post,

    1. Yeah, Conor, I have to agree that giving space for the subconscious to take part in the process is key. Really causes a problem if you have a headache or, like me, you’re trying to shake off the effects of a sleep medication that isn’t right for you. It’s past 5 PM where I am, and I’m only just feeling clear headed enough to get back to work. But in any case, agreed. Thanks for your comment.

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