When I was a teenager, I carried a spiral notebook or a set of ten loose ruled pages stapled together and folded in half on my person at all times. I could write anywhere – in the car, while waiting for my parents, while waiting for an appointment, during classes or other events, and everything in between. While I didn’t keep track of things like this back then, it’s likely that I wrote every day, even if only a few lines or paragraphs.
Now, I find that I need a little more time. I need to get my head in the game, and it takes a bit more effort. So I thought I’d make a list of places where I have found my writing endeavors successful.
- Home office – one small bedroom in my house contains a few bookcases and two desks, one for me and one for my husband. We like the setup because it reminds us of the tables we used to work at in our college library, but we are hardly ever at our desks at the same time. I find that I am able to work well in this space, but that I don’t take advantage of it as much as I could. If there were space in one of our living areas, less separated from the rest of the house, I think I might use a desk there more often.
- Work office – as a full-time instructor last year, I had the pleasure of a nice sized office with a view over the pond all to myself. I found that during class days it was difficult to switch from teacher/grader to creative writer, but I occasionally made special trips in on the weekends or off days, and they proved to be quite productive. I found this space especially useful for full manuscript revisions, because I had plenty of space to lay out pages and pages of manuscript.
- Yard – at home, when the weather is nice I like to write outside. Whether in a shaded rocker, around the fire pit, or just outside on the deck, nature and fresh air are inspiring to me. I try to take advantage of this as much as possible.
- Coffee shops – of course, coffee shops. I live dangerously close to a Panera Bread, but if I drive a bit farther there are several local options. It’s true that the sense of business, coming and going, and other people with laptops set up to work on their own projects definitely put me in the right head space to work.
I thought I’d also mention some places that seem as if they should be good places to write, but where I have found that for one reason or another I just couldn’t get into my manuscript.
- Public libraries – I’m not sure what’s different about the comings and goings at a library compared to a coffee shop. Perhaps it’s the expectation of silence, or the separateness of the little homework rooms (usually the best bet for an outlet). I’ve given this a try on many occasions, and it never proves as productive as I’d expect.
- The beach – okay, maybe this isn’t an obvious writing spot! But since I can be so productive in my yard, I’ve tried the beach. Didn’t quite work… I wonder why?
- With a friend I haven’t seen for a while – even two writers (or even two people who just have things to do) can be caught spending more time catching up and sharing about what they are working on then doing any actual writing. I still think this is a worthwhile thing to do, I just have different expectations about getting things done when doing it.
Where do you like to write? Anywhere I didn’t mention? Let me know!