Finding a spot to write can be pretty straightforward. If you have a desk or a dining room table, it’s fairly easy to set up your computer and attempt to write. You could even crash on your couch, computer on your lap.
I’ve done all of the above. I’ve also written in some abnormal places and I have to say my writing has benefited from it. Taking the time to go somewhere else, let my brain think in a different place, and let my heart respond to different things than my usual surroundings, my apartment, or my cat, helps my stories become a better reality than if I were to write sitting at home.
Don’t get me wrong, having a usual, normal writing spot that’s mostly all yours and can be a source of comfort and inspiration is really important. It helps trigger your brain that when you sit down, you’re sitting down to work. To write.
But sometimes, the triggers don’t work, or they get distracted, or you stare at the blank screen and wonder what in the world you’re doing.
And when that happens, dear writer, it’s time to get up off your butt and go somewhere else. Grab your computer or your notebook, and get out of there!
And thank goodness that there are plenty of places in the world to write!
For starters, take your computer or notebook and leave the room. If you normally write at your desk in an office, go write at the dining room table, or the couch, or on your bed. Sit on your partner’s side of the bed, or in your kid’s bedroom while they play by themselves, or hop onto your kitchen counter and do a quick writing sprint.
Have you tried writing outside? We have a park just behind our apartment and it’s one of my favorite places to go to write if I’m really feeling stuck in a story. Do you have a deck, a patio, or a favorite branch in a tree? Is there a park or a dog run or a nature reserve near you? Spend a bit of time writing outside. Nothing like fresh air and green grass to get the creative juices flowing!
Something else I’ve enjoyed doing is taking a notebook with me on hikes and when we stop for lunch, I’ll try to write a little something, whether it’s related to my WIP or not.
If you haven’t written in a coffee shop, then you’re missing out. Science has shown that our productivity goes up when we think people are watching us, and what is one thing people do at coffee shops besides get coffee? People watch! Take your computer to your favorite coffee shop, grab a latte, and sit for an hour to write. Not only does it get you out of the house (boy do I need that sometimes!), but it also gets you thinking in a different way and helps generate ideas you might now have had otherwise.
I love people watching while I write and pulling descriptions of characters from the people I see around me or creating stories from snippets of conversation that I hear. If you ever find me covertly watching people in a coffee shop, I’m also probably writing about them.
Museums, public gardens, libraries, bookstores, and theme parks are all unique places to write. Not only does it give you a new perspective, but it gives you new people to observe, new situations to write about and a different energy to tap into with your writing. Museums can inspire you, public gardens can help you focus, libraries can motivate you, and theme parks can give you the energy to keep going.
You can really write almost anywhere that a notebook and a pencil are allowed. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- Restaurants and bars
- In the car
- Tasting rooms (beer, wine, tea, etc.)
- Hotel lobbies
- Hotel rooms
- College campuses
- Bus stops
- In a church, a temple, or cathedral
- Standing up
- Somewhere cozy
- Somewhere uncomfortable
- With the TV on
- With music
- With silence
Where have you written? Let me know your creative places in the comments!