There are very few places where I feel I can write completely contendedly. I require relaxation, peace and quiet, comfort (seat, climate, posture), a clear head and good writing tools. I do love my pens.
Satisfying such requirements can be problematic. I’m not OCD about this; it’s doesn’t have to be exact, but each aspect is important. I can still function reasonably well with the majority still satisfied – for example, right now I have a very slight headache (not a clear head) and farts brewed from my roast chicken dinner linger in the stale air (comfort). This chair is a bit shit too.
If there’s one thing you should know about writing, it’s that for the majority of the time spent writing, no words leave the pen. To be able to know what you want to write, you first must know what you think, what you believe. Writing is – or should be – polished thought, and nothing less. It is the necessity for deep and careful thought which makes the relaxation, comfort, and peace and quiet so important.
At home, I never have much of a problem with writing. Being in my own space with my own kit, all that can go wrong is me. And it does, all the time. If I had a choice, I would write thousands and thousands of words every day, but there’s so much working against this that it’s just impossible. Sometimes I’m too tired, sometimes I’m too busy, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood. I can’t be bothered. Even at home, the most controlled writing environment that I have, I usually find barely an hour or two every week to sit down and write.
Having to write is something else entirely, and something that I do not enjoy at all. No time was this realised moreso than during Higher English – especially at the exams. One of the papers lasted 90 minutes, during which I had to write two critical essays.
The first of my requirements for good writing is violated immediately: relaxation. It’s an exam, for fucks sake, with a ridiculously short time allowance. I can’t think well under pressure, hence I can’t write well. How about peace and quiet? Well, it’s certainly quiet in there, but a room so full of such nervous tension and rabid scribbling is anything but peaceful. The comfort’s gone too. Shitty wobbly tables and crappy plastic chairs. Awful fluorescent lighting.
And then there’s me – tired, nervous, and under pressure. At least I can still choose my own pen.