Comfort can come in many different ways. As a full-time author and editor, I am severely blessed with where I can work. I can stay in my home, decorate a room solely for writing, hike a mountain with a notebook or iPad, or spend the day in a coffee shop.
Much of my comfort comes mostly from atmosphere. Sitting down to write is stepping into a sacred time of focus, thinking, and inspiration. I like to include many of my favorite things that add to comfortable atmosphere: a delicious smelling candle, a hot chai latte, comfortable sitting clothes, a clean desk, etc. But comfort isn’t just surroundings and physical relaxation. I must have spiritual, emotional, and physical comfort before I can employ my imagination successfully.
Spiritual Comfort: Only by the grace of God have I gained enough love for Scripture to sit down with the Bible every day. I recall all too clearly the days when I wondered if I’d every enjoy reading Scripture. Only through serious prayer did God develop that love. Because of this, I am able to find spiritual comfort every morning before writing. This is a precious time when I dedicate my writing, my imagination, and my day to the Lord. It’s also the time I indulge in some of my most delicious theology books. My imagination truly reaches a new height through Scripture and biblical teaching. (and I even write speculative fiction! Proof enough for me that God likes it.) [grin]
Emotional Comfort: It’s a constant struggle to keep my priorities in order. God, husband, writing. If my husband and I are at an emotional impasse, it must be resolved before I can write, otherwise writing turns into an escape instead of pursuit. I’m sure this will only get more difficult once we start having children, but if I keep my priorities straight right now then it should come easier then, right? (Do I hear mothers laughing on the other side of the screen?)
Physical Comfort: There’s physical comfort (i.e. slouch on the couch) and then there’s healthy physical comfort. I’ve heard many people speak on healthy comfort for those with a “desk job”, but now that I actually sit at a desk all day I understand the importance of seating, stretching, snacking, and posture.
- Find a good desk chair. You’ll be sitting in it all day, use one that helps your posture and keeps your body free from stiffness.
- Get up and move around every half hour. I know this threatens to break the flow of imagination juices, but it will keep your body in better tact, which allows you to write longer. Your best option is to go through a series of stretches.
- Find healthy snacks. I know how tempting it is to just drink coffee and eat goldfish crackers all day (my personal weakness), but try to alternate snacks. Or, for the stronger-willed writer, just stay on a regular eating schedule.
- Make sure your keyboard and computer are at a good height. Check your arm positions when using a mouse or typing. Believe it or not, there are positions much better for your whole body found through a simple arm adjustment.
So where are you on the comfort scale? Any further advice regarding healthy comfort in any of the three areas?
See the other posts in my “Perks to Being an Author” series: