I’ve had to write a lot for work in the last couple of weeks. I find my home office is good for a lot of things, but long writing assignments isn’t one of them. Part of the problem is the setup. My home office is schizophrenic in design. I have my home computer with my big old desk on one side of the room and my modern laptop desk on the other side holding my laptop from work. My home office has a big green comfortable chair. My work chair is one of those Z shaped ones you kneel on. It gives me better posture, but it’s not a good chair when writing something from scratch.
So, I picked up my laptop and went downstairs. That’s the beauty of a laptop and almost makes up for the flat keyboard and “pencil eraser” mouse. My first destination was the kitchen. Kitchens and I go way back. I used to do my homework at the kitchen table in elementary school. There is a lot of room to spread out and I had a view out the sliding glass doors to the backyard. Unfortunately, I also had a view into the family room and our HDTV.
So, I threw my laptop in my bag and took off for a place to write. McDonald’s was no fun. They get annoyed if you’re in there more than an hour or two. The oasis over the tollway was a no-go. The large windows face directly east and directly west. I’ve worked at the oasis before and enjoy working there in the middle of the night when it’s dark and quiet. However, my work was inconveniently scheduled during the day.
So, I headed for the library. Our public library in Belvidere was once a mansion. The architecture inside still reflects that. I like the old fashioned feel to the place. It has tall windows and high ceilings with large round lights and ceiling fans. Thick walnut moulding adorns the walls and there are a number of tables and chairs to set up at. Best of all, it’s quiet… well, it is a library after all.
The biggest problem was all the distractions. I set up shop on the main floor and found my attention wandering to the book spines stacked on the seven foot shelves that surrounded me. A quick glance revealed a number of books I hadn’t read. Try staying focus on writing something businesslike and boring when you have the offer of literature all around you. I had a moment of weakness (actually about three hours of weakness) and read Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. It provided the basis of the movie Field of Dreams. All the best qualities of that movie apparently originated in the novel.
The assessments weren’t writing themselves, so I moseyed over to the western section. I’m not a big fan of the Zane Grey set (which happened to reside to my immediate right). I was finally able to get down to what I needed to do… and write this blog.
Wait a minute…