10daysbetterblog 03

This is day 3 of a blogging workshop I’m doing with my friend John Saddington.

My optimal writing environment is a coffee shop. I have a local one (coffee mugs are pictured in the sidebar) two blocks away from my day job as a personal trainer. During sections of my day I scoot over there for my writing. I love window seats, but when I’m writing I usually need to bury myself a little deeper into the cafe so I don’t stare out the window. My drink of choice is either a red-eye or a half-full Americano.

After I get my drink and my table, I need a few minutes to clear my mind. A quick check of Twitter, a quick glance of my notebook of items to do for the day so that I can try to keep those things from creeping in as distractions to my writing. Headphones are a must. I love the buzz and chatter of a coffee shop but (depending on the topic) I typically need music where I don’t know the words, often instrumental music to zone into my writing.

As far as the content, I am pushing myself lately to produce an outline first rather than just writing on the fly. I go on tangents. I lose my direction. I confuse even myself, the writer. Not good. This sounds much more professional here than what usually happens. I’m working on a better workflow. I do light editing while I write but I have certainly found that if I can get a draft done, walk away for a few hours or even upwards of a day, then come back to it, I can edit a lot more and get the piece in a better place to publish. I guess this is all part of the deal of becoming a better writer.

As I said yesterday, I have all the tools to blog. I could write on any computer, I could write in TextEdit, Evernote, or the web version of WordPress. But thankfully my writing process is enhanced with my 2011 MacBook Air and Desk. My Mac is an absolute dream to pull out of my bag and open up. Desk is clean and fully functional for my workflow as a blogger. I appreciate how opening Desk is exactly what writers should be doing – sitting at their desk. For decades, writers have pulled a chair up to a physical desk, pulled out paper, a typewriter, then a computer to do their writing. Today we write in apps. And when I open my digital Desk, I’m a writer.