Wednesday, April 19, 2017

5 Places to Write

Sometimes you can get into a rut with writing. This can be for any number of reasons--stress at work, not feeling your current project, etc.

Or maybe your favorite writing spot is no longer accessible to you, be it because of construction at the coffee shop or your decision to move halfway across the country.

Alternatively, you might be looking for a fresh place to start a new project and really feel like you're marking the occasion by trying out somewhere new.

Whatever the case is, where we write and the conditions we write under can have a profound effect on our writing. We all have our preferences--Do you listen to music, have TV on in the background, or need absolute silence? Do you work better on a laptop or with pen and paper? Do you need the pressure of constrained writing time or like a leisurely pace to create as you will?

One of the major factors that come into play is, whether it's something that you've considered or not, location. Here are some ideas of places to try out if your current location has gone stale for you:

1. Nature

Nature can be accessed in a variety of ways under a variety of conditions. If you want more silence/white noise, you can trek out to the woods or a mountain or a secluded lake. If that's not your thing, or if that's a long journey for you to make, you could try a park, which may have other people's chatter and goings ons as either a drawback or a bonus depending on how you like to work. Types of nature vary as well, of course: Beach, forest, grassy field, lake, mountain, etc. etc., each with its own personality and potential to help you write.

2. Coffee Shop

Need people around to keep on target while writing? There are a number of options available to you: Dunkin' Donuts, a local brunch spot, your campus library, the used bookstore down the street, and so on. Each of those venues is going to have different benefits and obstacles depending on your own personal writing needs. (For example, I love writing at Dunkin' Donuts because of the white noise and the reinvigorating smell of coffee. However, that may be too chaotic for you and you may want the quiet and solitude of a library corner all to yourself instead.) One of the wild cards here, of course, is that you can never know how crowded and busy or empty and subdued a place will be on any given day, which is an x-factor that you'll have to play by ear.

3. Bar

Maybe chaos suits you. You might like the loud buzz of noise and a lot of activity going on around you--think your high school cafeteria. There are lots of options, of course, to achieve this--a bar, a crowded auditorium, the quad or student center of the local campus, a really busy waiting room, a train or bus station, wherever. Try out a few places with lots of traffic and high energy and see what helps your writing get going or continue.

4. Transportation

While I wouldn't recommend writing while driving (unless you use a voice recording system of some kind, I suppose), there are ways to write during travel. You can write as your husband drives you a few hours to a different state to see family. You can get out the old pen and paper on your flight to London. You can take a day trip on a train and bring your laptop with you. Sometimes the (constant) change in scenery can do you--and more specifically your writing--some good.

5. At Home

This may seem like the most obvious choice. There's a lot of benefit here. You can write any time that you want. You can create the conditions that you want--music or not, comfortable couch to sit on or a rigid desk, bright lights or dim lights. But maybe you have a kid (or four) at home who will demand your attention if you're around, or maybe you'll get distracted by household chores, or maybe it'll take longer to get your work done because your mind wanders more easily here. How well writing at home works for you is something that no one else can determine--only you know your circumstances and how you write best. However, if you've been writing at home a lot, it never hurts to switch things up every once in a while and test out some other options just for a change.


So where's your favorite place to write? Any of these from the list that you might try out?

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