Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to Find the Ideal Writing Spot

Writing requires concentration and lots of mental energy. That is one reason where you write is important. If you are in a location that it not conducive to concentration or is uninspiring, it can be hard to get your writing done.

In an ideal world, I would be writing in a large, clean, sparsely decorated room with inspiring objets d’art, and two huge picture windows. One picture window would have an amazing view of the sea, and the other of snow-capped mountains. Aside from the geographical feasibility of that ideal location, it is simply an ideal, not my reality. But, knowing what my ideal location would be tells me some things about the kind of places I should seek out for writing. It is important for me to be somewhere with something nice to look at. I draw inspiration from my surroundings. It is also best if I am in a quiet place, with few distractions.

What would your ideal writing location look like?

Do you enjoy the quiet or do you like a bit of bustling around you as you write? How important is your view? Do you prefer to write in a warm place or a cool place? Do you want to hear birds chirping, conversation buzzing, classical music, top 40 hits, cars whizzing by, or nothing at all? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but thinking of your ideal writing spot can help you figure out where is best for you to write and where is simply not conducive.

Like waves, we roll on

I know for sure that the most important thing for me is a minimum of distractions. That is why it is often difficult for me to eat at home, where there is laundry to be done, clothes to be picked off the floor, plates to be washed, and lots of snacks in the kitchen to be eaten. My office works sometimes, but only when it is fairly well organized and my door is closed – signaling to potential visitors that I am busy.

My office and home have the advantage of being quiet, for the most part. And, I prefer the quiet for writing. But, I am willing to sacrifice that for the lively energy of a coffee shop. Thus, two days a week, I make my way to a local coffee shop to write. When the next table gets a bit rowdy, I pull out my earphones and put on Pandora.

Other people find that quietness is the most important aspect of a writing space. Thus, they seek out library carrels, empty conference rooms, home offices, secluded cabins in the woods,

Choose a good place to write because writing is important

Choosing a suitable writing spot also has the advantage of signaling to yourself that writing is important enough to you for you to make the effort to find the best place possible to do it. Doing so can be empowering insofar as you are not only writing, but acting like a writer, like someone who writes and takes it seriously.

Think about it. What would be your ideal writing spot? If you can’t recreate that space in your current environment, what aspects of it can you recreate? Can you find the quiet, the inspiration, the movement, the view, the space you need anywhere close to where you are?

Here are nine ideas for writing locations:

  1. A library carrel
  2. The public library
  3. An empty conference room
  4. A coffee shop
  5. Your home office
  6. Your work office
  7. Your backyard
  8. Your front porch
  9. A local park or arboretum

Pick wherever works best for you and let the ideas flow!

1 comment:

  1. This was very informative; however you might want to put a few more tips on how to evaluate certain writing spots, besides the noise and appearance.