Comparing Writing Locations

In this post I’ll be comparing the different places where I write blog articles.

Here’s the location list:

  • home office
  • garden
  • train
  • work

At Home

My Office

The pink animal clock of Windows 7My home office is the place where I’ve written most of my posts so far.  It’s a quiet place, even when the kids are at home, because there’s a hallway in between that room and the living room.  So it’s a good place to write, easy to concentrate.

Our youngest daughter though, three years old, may occasionally take a peek through the glass door.  In fact, sometimes she even comes and sits on my lap to watch what I’m doing.  Her favorite clock type in Windows 7 is the pink animal, not sure what type of animal it is.

But that’s okay, as I’m using my free time to write these articles I occasionally need life to interfere and remind me about that fact.  That’s usually the time to stop writing and spend some time with the family.


  • Fast internet connection
  • Quiet, good for concentration


  • No fresh air

My Garden

Weather forecast for today, June 4th 2010: 23°C!Now that the weather has started to prepare Belgium for Summer, I prefer to spend my spare time outside sitting in our garden.  And sometimes, usually during the nice warm weekends, I want to use some of that time to produce an article.  With my wireless network, parasol, table and chair, I’m all set up for it.  While sitting outside I can even keep an eye on the kids, who are also outside playing with their slide, trampoline, swing, …


  • Can get something done while not missing out on the nice weather
  • Internet access (provided you’ve got a wireless network)


  • Laptop seems to run a bit warmer, probably because it’s warmer outside than in my office
  • Need an electricity plug for longer sessions

On The Road

In The Train

My new Swiss Gear Ibex 17-Inch Notebook Backpack Recently I’ve bought myself this backpack and it was the best thing I could buy.  My current client are the Belgian Railways.  Their offices are of course located close to a train station, so most of the time I’m commuting to/from work by train.  A one-way trip takes about 45 minutes and my main occupation so far has been reading or sitting with my eyes closed listening to music.

Until now.  With this new backpack I can easily take my laptop with me and use it to write, or to play with SQL Server, prepare a demo, ….  In fact, right now while I’m typing this I’m sitting on the train.  Without the backpack it was just too painful.  I need to walk about 8 minutes to get from the train station to the offices of my client and with the standard Dell bag the weight of the laptop is just too much on my shoulder.

In the mornings I still close my eyes though, that’s just too early to get something useful done anyway.


  • No time wasted doing nothing
  • More free time at home to spend with wife and daughters


  • No internet – no quick lookups
  • No internet – publishing will be delayed
  • No internet – links will need to be added later from another location in my list above
  • May get noisy on the crowded trains – difficult to concentrate
  • No mouse connected due to not enough space – I so miss it!
  • No electricity (but my battery lasts long enough so not an issue)

At Work

Well, actually, I’m just kidding here.  You thought it was for real?  Did you jump down straight from the top to get to this section?  I think I may have scared a couple of people, such as my employer.  Which is actually the intention of this paragraph, ha! (If you’re one of those, post a comment!) :-)

I’m not one of those guys who has the possibility to blog and get paid for it.


Even though I’ve listed quite some cons on writing while sitting in a train, I still like it.  Just because it’s much more productive than anything else that can be done at that time, and the time spent on the train is not something that’s optional or depends on a decision.  At home I can decide to make some time free for writing, whether if it’s in my office or in the garden.  But the train is a place where I will certainly spend some time each working day.  I can’t decide to not spend time on the train.  Except when I commute by car – which is something I do when I’ve got a meeting or info session in the evening – but that’s another story.

Real conclusion: sometimes buying a backpack can save you time.

Time for me to start the weekend and get off the train!

Have fun!




  1. Brent Ozar’s avatar

    Ha! Keep blogging, and you never know when you might start getting paid to do it. ;-)


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Looking forward to it, so I’ll just keep ‘em coming! ;-)


  2. Jason Thomas’s avatar

    Haha! You sure you aint blogging during work? Come on Valentino, it’s just us, we wont tel anyone ;)


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Ow yeah, quite sure…

      Blogging is definitely something I ain’t doing at work, but getting inspiration, that’s another story! Obviously most of my time spent while using SQL Server is at work. So logically now and then I encounter something that’s worth blogging about, at work. But I work it out later, at home (or on the train since short ;-) ).

      Now that we’re on the topic of getting inspiration, work is not the only place. I’m also active on forums and sometimes I write an article about subjects which I see recurring often. And to close off the topic, then there’s me playing around with the latest releases, another source for article material.

      PS: looks like my trick to get some comments in is working so far :-)



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