The space to write

In which I sit down and just start typing.

Vintage style typewriter for writing

Giving up the morning hassle of driving has freed up a lot more time in my life. Instead of spending two hours a day trying to find a piece of music I like (or not getting angry at the volume of adverts on chat radio) I now spend my life with the pleasure of my fellow commuters on the British rail network (…and I love it so).

Although I don’t get all 120 minutes back I do have half it, and this is fantastic for my productivity. Where I used to have to find some time to sit down and write a few hundred words (because the daily target is three hundred) now I have the perfect amount of time to sit down and tap away at a keyboard.

There is only one place to write and that is alone at a typewriter. The writer who has to go into the streets is a writer who does not know the streets. . . . when you leave your typewriter you leave your machine gun and the rats come pouring through.
— Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man

My personal writing habit is to find a prompt, and just start typing. I don’t sit and ponder the topic too much and just try to find my way as I go. On occasion the whole post will appear fully formed in my headHow to propose), and on others I have pre-thought about the topic for a while (Parenting Jealousy) and the prompt is merely a conduit for me to write it. Mostly though I have to see where the words take me.

The one habit (and I’m unsure as to whether it is good or bad) is that I don’t edit or proof-read. Any errors are my own and there for all to see, but I have an issue with revising anything I have wrote. Sure, I would be able to produce posts of a better quality but these are meant to be reflective of my thoughts and I don’t edit those either.

Doing this for nearly five years I have become adept at typing away for a few paragraphs and judging how long I need to keep going to produce a post of decent length, which is just as well because I am constrained by the time limit (of the Tile Hill to Birimingham New Street train) and also because I type most of this on a tablet. This is an upgrade from my last writing tool which was my phone, although a predictive keyboard and large screen is not the same as typing on an old Nokia.

This is the only equipment I use, there are no notepads and no post-its lying around. Well not real ones anyway, I do have a way of capturing any important thoughts in case I want to write about them (Google Keep) but all it does is create a list of ideas that I never look at.

Which such a minimal work requirement I am lucky that I can ‘work’ anywhere, such as the train. All I need is enough space to stick my elbows out a little (to make the typing easier) and I’m ready to go. I don’t rely on music (although headphones on a train are useful to block the tsh tsh of others) or having a cup of tea to hand. All I need is an idea and a little time to find the space to write.

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

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