These days I make my living ghostwriting content for websites and blogs and I am not required to be in any specific place a specific time to do so. I can work anywhere I want at any time I want. If my clients get the work they’ve asked for on time and the quality is good they are happy. Whenever I talk about my work I usually say I only require three things: my computer, somewhere to plug it in, and an internet connection. This is true enough, but it also helps if I have a desk, or at the very least a suitable table and chair. I moved about quite a bit last year and lived and worked in three different countries. Some of the time I had a traditional desk, at others I didn’t even have access to a suitable table and had to improvise. Then there were times when I was spoiled for choice and had several different options every day. I quite like the idea of keeping a log of the way my writing habitats have changed overtime and this blog is as good a place to do it as any, so here goes.
January 1st to July 19th (Stockton-on-Tees, UK)
I began the year living in a very rough part of Stockton. Even the Rats never left their holes without donning bulletproof vests and there was always a lot of police activity in the street, but I had a nice, big desk with plenty of room to spread out any paperwork I required. My bed was only a few feet away from my desk so I could wake up on a morning and get straight to work and if I got tired it was easy to take a nap. The only problem was I was a long way from the Wi-Fi router and often lost the signal. It was a pain in the behind, but I struggled through.
July 22nd to August 9th (Wageningen, Netherlands)
The room I rented in Wageningen was in a student apartment so it had a nice big desk and there was plenty of light because it was beside the window. The Wi-Fi router was on the desk as well so I always had a very good signal. It was perfect.
August 10th to September 9th (Zoetermeer, Netherlands)
I spent four weeks in Zoetermeer and had no desk at all. Nor did I have access to a table, so I had to put my computer on a shelf that was not deep enough to allow me to tilt the screen of my laptop back as far as I would have liked. It kind of sucked. All I had to sit on was an old wooden chair and it was not high enough to allow comfortable typing. I had to balance the legs across a couple of pieces of wood to get the extra elevation I needed. It was very hard to work, but I managed to get things done.
September 10th to October 1st (Wezep, Netherlands)
When I left Zoetermeer I made a move for the better and went from having no decent workspace to having a choice of three.
Sometimes I worked from the little desk in my room.
At other times I worked at the dining table and had the use of a €1,000 office chair.
And if it was a nice, warm sunny day I could plug my laptop into the power point in the garden and work outside.
October 2nd to December 19th (Stockton-on-Tees, UK)
I only returned to the UK because I needed a new passport and I chose to live at Stockton again because it was so easy for me to arrange a room. I spent nearly three months living in the same house I was in earlier in the year. The room was smaller, but the desk was fine and the internet router was in the room next door so I hardly ever had a problem getting online.
December 20th (Valencia, Spain)
I am writing this while sitting at a nice little table, with an adequate chair, in a room in Valencia. The internet connection is fantastic and I have everything I need to work. I am going to stay here for a couple more weeks and then I am moving further south. I know exactly where I am going and how long I will be there, but I have no idea if I will have a desk. If I do that’s great. If not I will manage and I am rather curious to see what the future holds.