I know I JUST wrote about my standing desk, but I’ve tweaked it. Still, I didn’t want you to think I was holding out on you or anything. Of course, how would you know it changed unless you came to my house (Please don’t. Our décor ranges from that lived in look to “Gee it looks like they left in a hurry.”). Still, I like strive for transparency.
Not long after I posted the original piece about my standing desk I evaluated where I was with my fiction work in-progress and realized that I was getting no where fast. There were a number of factors that played into my lack of progress, some of them beyond my control. Some were issues I could address. One thing I realized is that my butt needs to be in a chair in order for me to achieve any elevated word counts. Let’s not over analyze this shall we?
The main reason I went to a standing desk was to eliminate the temptation slip into bad posture. My neck and shoulders have been feeling great lately, so going back to sitting full time wasn’t an option. I investigated a more formal standing desk configuration. They do make adjustable models so you can move from sitting to standing, and back, but none of the models I saw made it look like it was an easy process and most of the reviews I read agreed. So, I pondered the idea until I came up with a solution.
I HATE to throw away electronics that are still fully funcitonal just because I upgraded to a newer model. I’ve rehomed a few devices, but I still had my the laptop and 17 inch monitor that made up my primary workstation before I got the iMac I now use. Hmm, this could work.
What do I need to write? Literally, some paper and a pen or pencil. More practically, I use several different pieces of software depending on what I’m writing and where I am in the process.
- Microsoft Word
- Pages (Apple’s word processor)
None of these programs have particularly heavy duty hardware requirements. The laptop is only behind by one or two versions of the Apple operating system, so I fired it up and created a separate writing workstation at my old seat. I still had the ergonomic keyboard tray and foot rest, so I dug up an old monitor stand and I was good to go.
Problem solved. I kept a web browser on the machine so I could transfer files back and fourth via email and gave it it’s own external hard drive so I could run external back ups.
When I write, I either use a really large font or magnification. Which makes the seated set up a less than optimal environment for for any work other than writing because I start to sit funny. This in it’s self is a good motivator to keep writing.
I am fortunate to have my own office with a door that closes (to keep the heat in and the distractions out), but don’t go thinking I have a ton of extra space. To get to my main workstation, I simply stand and turn 45 degrees to my left.
If you are thinking about a second work station just for writing whether for postural reasons or just to keep distractions to a minimum. Here are a few suggestions:
- An older laptop or even a tablet with a wireless keyboard work well as writing stations. Basic word processing doesn’t require a lot of horsepower.
- Ask yourself, do you “need” an Internet connection? Would you get more done without it? You can always use the tried and true sneaker net (plug a USB drive into one machine, download the file and WALK it over to the second machine) to transfer files. But whatever you do, PLEASE back up your words!!
In my case the new work station has definitely aided my productivity. I recently made a commitment to complete the first draft of my romantic fiction work-in-progress by mid-February and I’m already 20% of the way towards my goal word count!
Do you have a special set up for your writing?
Lee Laughlin is a writer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. She blogs at Livefearlesslee.com. She is currently a member of the Concord Monitor Board of Contributors. Her words have also appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe.