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Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Writing Productivity: Location

I read a blog post recently, which I sadly didn’t bookmark or otherwise save, that talked about how the author had tracked where and when she wrote to determine where and when she was most productive. Although I haven’t been tracking my productivity quite so closely, it did get me thinking about where I write, and how productive I am in those locations.

We have a LOT of computers at home. Only one desktop, but we each technically own two laptops. Of course, this is because we have our old laptops and our new laptops still sitting around. But essentially, since Jeremy does all of his writing on his laptop, I have the choice of my laptop or the desktop. I’ve typically written on my laptop, sitting in the tiny, low to the ground chair in front of the living room window. But I think the keyboard on my laptop is starting to fail. So I spent the past few days writing on the desktop instead. I recently put a padded folding chair in front of the desktop, because the old chair that was there was killing my back. I think that moving to the desktop with the slightly more rigid chair is helping my productivity–I bashed out the first draft of a short story in just 3 nights, during which I wrote for maybe 2 1/2 hours each night. This is not too bad, especially as I had a few false starts on scenes that ended up getting cut before the draft was even done.

The other places we go to write are coffee shops, with our weekly writing group. I already know, without even trying to gauge my output, that these are less productive sessions. There’s a lot more socializing than writing most evenings (and the occasional Saturday mornings). Because these sessions fall on Thursday nights, I end up having to leave after about an hour or so to drive up to derby practice. So I’m usually not all that inclined to really get into something. But I can use this knowledge to my advantage, and plan to work on smaller pieces, like book reviews or blog posts, rather than trying to get a story really moving. This is not to say that the writer’s group is wasted time. It’s good to get out and socialize with other writers, because we can bounce ideas off of each other, ask questions that make us feel dumb, etc.

I haven’t really tested out any other writing locations, but I’m curious to know if other people have, and have found a place that works really well for them!

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