I guess I’m pretty fortunate in that I seem to be able to get by on about four hours sleep. I usually wake up about half-three in the morning and then cram in a couple of hours writing before I go to the gym and then on to work. It’s the perfect routine for me, except for one small thing: I’m Earth’s worst procrastinator.
Starting to write at five in the morning would be great – if I hadn’t been up and shuffling around the house since four.
So what’s going on in that lost hour? Okay, well, there’s the washing up (no need; we have a dishwasher). The office always needs a bit of a tidyup (which of course can’t be done on a Sunday or something). And then I need about fifteen minutes to play with cat (and he doesn’t like being woken up for it I can tell you). The last ten minutes or so is taken up with my never-ending quest for the perfect writing font. A complete waste of time. If I ever find this elusive God font, will I miraculously start churning out best-sellers every few days or so? Probably not, but with a decent screen-font I can write more comfortably for longer (though I always take about ten minutes every hour or so). If I’m not distracted by odd little twiddly bits hanging off every word then I’m more likely to spot mistakes before they reach my editor.
Obviously, there’s no such thing as the perfect font for everyone, but I did come across one that is as close to perfection as it comes. And that font is . . .
That surprised you didn’t it? Well it shouldn’t really. Microsoft have come up with some real workhorses fontwise, and Consolas is one of their best. It’s clean, easy to read, well-spaced, doesn’t have twiddly bits, and the clincher for me is they’ve made it easy to distinguish between hypens, en-dashes and em-dashes. That’s quite a design trick when you consider they’ve only got a fixed width to play with.
So, if your eyes hurt, or you’re tired of wasting ten minutes of your writing session fiddling with the font dialog, give Consolas a try. If you have Office installed (and love it or hate it, most writers seem to) then Consolas should have been dropped on your machine right along with it.