We have painters and carpet layers at work this week (that is, at my Wednesday and Friday job - I have a different job on the other days). On Wednesday when I arrived everything was being packed into boxes, and to add to the chaos, my computer had refused to start and was off site for repairs. So I gathered a few files and took them home, where I was able to do some work by logging on to the new computer database which is hosted at the head office in another city. Today I arrived at work with a car boot full of files, to find that our main room had been emptied out, and staff were perched in any odd corner they could find. I tried to find a corner for myself, but there was nowhere left. My computer is the server for some of our databases, and it needed to be close enough to the others so they could stay plugged in. An hour or two in a small room that was going to be taken over by the painters by noon was all I could manage. So I did the essentials, gathered up more files and headed home again.
Even though the database looks exactly the same, it feels strange working on my computer at home. It set me thinking about the importance of place in routine. When I am at work I focus on work, I get absorbed in what I am doing and the time often goes quite quickly. On my home computer it seemed different. I was more inclined to check my personal e-mails, take a few minutes here and there to look at websites, get up and walk around and so on. I did work longer into the evening though, which made up for all the mini-breaks.
Still, it seems that the work computer triggers work thoughts, and the home computer triggers thoughts of surfing the internet, checking e-mail, and playing sudoku. Poetry is another matter. I've been trying to set up a regular poetry writing routine but I don't have a particular poetry writing place. I remember a questionnaire put out by the now inactive site Readwritepoem, and one of the questions on it was "what's the strangest place you ahve ever written a poem?" When it comes down to it, all my poems are written in the same place - in my head. I might start off by free writing, but most of the work seems to get done while I am driving or walking or gardening. When I get to pen and paper, or the computer, I am setting it down, rather than actually writing. That's all very well, but what do I do if nothing comes? I can't help feeling that there is something I could be doing to prompt poems to show up in my head more regularly, but I'm not yet sure what it is.
So, what about you? How do you write, and where?