We writers are a notoriously picky bunch. We have our favorite pens, our favorite computer software (updates being the bane of our existence), our preferred spot at the coffee shop. We treasure our favorite notebooks and journals. Swap things up and our creativity takes a hit.
Once upon a time, I had the perfect office chair. Manufactured by a company known for expensive mattresses and boasting an adjustable lumbar support, it was made from a lovely soft gray fabric that appealed to my personal sense of touch.
Unfortunately, it also appealed to my cats.
They fought over which one got to sleep in it. And when I suggested to the winner that I would like to sit in my chair, I received THAT LOOK which most cat slaves recognize. Fat chance, bub.
That lumbar support I mentioned? I rarely had the opportunity to enjoy it because for years I teetered on the edge of the chair while a furry feline refused to give up the three-quarters of it she’d claimed.
The other thing the cats liked about the chair was the aesthetically pleasing soft gray fabric. In the cat world, it was the purrfect texture for a scratching post.
I tried cat-repellant sticky tape. I tried slipcovers. Soon, both only served to hide and/or patch the rips. Once the foam stuffing started drifting across the floor, I knew I’d been beaten.
A couple of years ago, I decided it was time for a new chair. Perhaps my furry masters wouldn’t be so enamored of leather. However, I didn’t care to spend a lot of money on an experiment only to have another piece of shredded office furniture. I bought a cheapie vinyl store-brand chair. The old adage about getting what you pay for? It’s true.
I never liked the new chair. Not enough padding. Not enough lumbar support. And no amount of adjusting could make it have the amount of rockability that I wanted. (Rockability isn’t a word? It should be.)
But the cats avoided that chair! They had no interest in sitting in it. Nor did they like the feel on their paws. In the cat world, it sucked as a scratching post.
Recently, I decided for the sake of my neck, my back, and my hips, I needed a better seat. No more cheapies. I wanted leather. The real stuff. And I wanted it to be comfortable enough to suit my writerly need to plant my butt in it for long periods of time each day.
I wandered into an office supply store for goodies last week—writers LOVE office supplies—and found myself drawn to the display of office chairs.
There was one that looked like it belonged in a sports car. The tag said it was a “gamer’s chair.”
I sat in it. Too hard. Another chair looked padded and opulent. But the padding wasn’t in the right place for my body.
By now a salesman had joined me to point out the wonderful qualities of the more high-end models. He soon learned that I, like Goldilocks, was extremely picky. This one was too hard. That one was too big.
And then, I discovered THE ONE. I sat in it and my entire body breathed a happy sigh.
I kept trying others. The salesman directed me to his personal favorite. Nope. Not enough neck support. The Rolls Royce of office chairs had wonderful lumbar support…for someone else.
I kept going back to the same chair.
It was the only one in the store that was JUST RIGHT.
It’s leather. It fits my curves. My butt is happy to be planted in it for long periods of writing. Its rockability factor allows me to lean back and ponder the scenes outside my window—or the insides of my eyelids. And it’s now in my office.
And my cat hates it.
Do you have a favorite chair, pen, notebook, or even a talisman that you need in order to be productive?