I used to have this romanticised notion that being a writer meant spending your days: sipping an endless supply of skinny lattes at the local riverside café while soaking up the “tranquil ambience” (as Micky Flanagan would say). Although, this is partially true, I also used to think that this “tranquil ambience” was guaranteed to have best-sellers spilling from my pen nib on a daily basis; this is not so true. Unfortunately.
I’ve tried many times to work in my university library but the place always feels unnaturally clean to the point of clinical. I constantly fall into a prolonged state of distraction and end up watching all the other students: sleep-deprived, caffeine-high and working on their coursework.
The truth is that I am most productive whilst lounging sluggishly in bed, laptop perched on my knees and a mug of lukewarm Kenco at my side. I also have a small fold-able desk-table which is only slightly less motivating, but I find I associate this space more with procrastination than productivity. This is mostly due to the fact that I am conveniently and comfortably positioned on the sofa in front of the TV and within arms reach of the remote. I’ve lost many hours to the devilishly seductive charms of Netflix.
They say you should never associate your bed with your work or you will have difficulty falling asleep, but for me, my bed is the best place to do both. I dream with a creative recklessness that perhaps awake-me needs to learn from. So I suppose it’s there, stretched out in my bed (in a repetitive cycle of various positions) with my laptop ready and my coffee getting cold, that I’m a little closer to those dreams — and that creativity.
Being a writer is not so much about seeking a tranquil space in the wider world and writing in your journal while sipping a fancy beverage so that passers-by will see you and think to themselves: “Huh, they must be a writer.” Being a writer is about creating your own peaceful refuge surrounded by familiar objects because nothing promotes a sense of inner peace like your stuff.
My sanctuary is my home and it’s here that creativity thrives. Where’s yours?