Burst out of the where-you-write box

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Where do you write?

I suppose most writers have a desk, or a nook, or a room. Some of us have an office with a scenic view.

Break out

Throw the laptop in a backpack, or grab a pad of paper and a pen, and try writing at one of these outside-the-box locales.

***

A cemetery

A local historical site

An old barn or run-down building

On the beach

Atop a mountain, or on a mountain trail

A local park

A museum

A dock

Next to a raging river or at a waterfall

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Would you find inspiration at any of these places?

What’s your most productive place to write?

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26 Comments

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26 responses to “Burst out of the where-you-write box

  1. Hmmmm…I am totally inspired when I’m outdoors, but I’ve never thought of writing out there. I think I’d find it too distracting, but I’ll have to try it (when the weather gets better) and report back to you. I usually write in my home office.

    My teacher at a writing course I took a couple of years ago definitely spent some time talking about the importance of having a writing spot that inspired you to write just by being there. She also touted writing routines.

    Great food for thought. Thanks, Karen.

    • karenrsanderson

      Routines are fine, but rather dull. I’m feeling a little dull myself. We seem to be enjoying an early spring, and I cannot wait to sit outside for some fresh-air perspective.

  2. What a great reminder to get up out of our chairs! I’ve written in a museum and once on an abandoned bridge. But never in a cemetery. At least not yet…..

    • karenrsanderson

      I’ve never written in a cemetery, but it might help with some of the horror I’m writing. Though I wouldn’t do it at night.

  3. Love taking pen and notebook and heading into the woods or sitting on the shore of our local lake. There are a couple of old cemeteries near by that are very inspirational. In winter this all becomes problematic, but an afternoon in a cafe or diner listening and watching and scribbling away is a fair substitute. 🙂

    • karenrsanderson

      Yes, winter certainly does put a kink in many of these ideas – I can’t type with gloves on. I cannot write or concentrate in a cafe or diner, too many distractions – though I do get a lot of fodder for quirky characters!

  4. Audrey Keith

    I usually took pen & paper along when driving truck, or when we travelled. I couldn’t write when driving the tractor, but I did once compose a poem there. Had to memorize it so I could write it down many hours later. But a cemetery–interesting idea.

    • karenrsanderson

      I cringe when I think of all the travelling I did without writing anything down – about the landscapes, the people, etc. Now I just have to use my memories and imagination.

  5. Mickey Baxter-Spade

    What great ideas. My home has always been the place I love to write.
    • In winter my mind mapping is done at the kitchen table or propped up in bed while sipping tea in the early morning hours.
    • Writing in my studio is right up there with my faves. It’s nice to reference paintings and products as I write.
    • In warm weather my favorite spot is the deck at sunrise with the sun coloring the clouds with gorgeous tints of pinks and purples against the blue of the sky.
    • Writing in nature would be quite lovely but I tend to get too distracted by the beauty around me and end up taking lots of photographs. That’s fun too.
    • Finalizing my writing is always done in my office where I focus more on the esthetics of what I’m sharing.

    The beach beckons me and I’m still contemplating the cemetery. Nice questions Karen.

    • karenrsanderson

      You are lucky that you have so many wonderful places to use, Mickey! Lately, I’ve just been using the couch/lap (small apartment, and my desk is currently littered with art supplies). We are landlocked, so no beaches here. Though I do have a river out back.

      • Mickey Baxter-Spade

        So glad you’re still painting! Know what you mean by landlocked, I’m in Colorado. The beach beckons but I haven’t been to one in seven years. I plan to change that this year. 😉

  6. Not only is this a true mojo moving post, it’s cool learning the habits of fellow scribes. You know, great minds and all…

    I’m at my best when I’m tucked away in my writing room–except when I’m not. Sometimes it’s just a matter of packing up my notebooks and moving to another room,,sitting beside another window, or staring at different walls. As for going outside of my accustomed writing comfort zone, I generally find myself too distracted to really amp-up my word count, but for percolating ideas and taking notes, new turf can be magic.

    • karenrsanderson

      I agree – just a change of scenery can percolate ideas. I don’t write much with pen and paper, but I am thinking that might be what I shall do this spring.

  7. When we were on the road last year, I wrote almost every day. The actual writing was done at the table in our RV on my travel laptop, but the inspiration came from wherever we were. I kept a small notebook in the console beside my seat in the truck and scribbled down thoughts as I saw things outside my window. I’d try to compose a sentence or two on the spot so I could share my immediate impressions, then elaborate that evening when I composed that day’s blogpost.
    Nothing seems to have inspired me this long, cold winter. I’m hoping the changing seasons will get the juices flowing again.

    • karenrsanderson

      I lived in an RV for about three years, and I could kick myself for not writing more during that time – like you said, an impression or a thought formed from looking out the window. And I so agree on the ‘long cold winter.’ I am hoping my juices (and the river) start flowing soon!

  8. You’re so right! My desk is in my hallway. Sometimes I write there, or in the sitting room with the laptop on my lap. I have tried coffee shops but I agree that if we tried alternative locations, it would shake things up a bit! Thank you.

    • karenrsanderson

      The serious stuff I do at home, but every so often, I take the laptop or a pad of paper and write elsewhere. At least sometimes, I get an idea or two.

  9. Oh yes, it is so important to change up your writing spot from time to time. I love to write on air planes and often write at the beach. You gave some me more great ideas. I polish it up at my desk but I need to get out and about to get ideas. The other day at the sky train station, a young man got on the train with a lacrosse stick. I immediately wrote a couple of pages for my WIP, with my characters at a lacrosse game, on the way to work.

    • karenrsanderson

      I think the different locales are good for inspiration, but I agree the polishing (for me anyway) has to be done at home. See? The lacrosse stick – you probably never would have thought of that at home!

  10. I only write outside of my desk when I’m on vacation or out of town for more than a day. Sorry but if I was lucky enough to sit beside a pure raging river, I’d be too busy absorbing nature! I take a notebook and writing materials when I have to run errands just in case I have to wait in a line,etc., but I just get too distracted anywhere else by people, places, etc. to get any real writing or even reading done.
    Besides, I have enough to distract me with the television BLARING at my back as I write–I don’t need anything else, LOL!
    I DO have a secret place I go for inspiration that shall remain nameless forever.

    • karenrsanderson

      I am more easily distracted in the outdoor or odd indoor places, but it’s good for inspiration, a few notes, a choice sentence or two. I need peace and quiet to clean up and edit. Nice to have a secret place – you should keep it a secret!

  11. Karen,

    Excellent advice.

    I have a place where I “type”. My computers are all desktops, so I pretty much have to type wherever they are.

    But I write wherever I happen to be. Waiting in a car for my husband. Sitting on the back porch. Standing at one end of the leash while the cat (at the other end of the leash) explores the bushes. I’ve even written in a car as we go down the road (my husband was driving, of course!).

    I think it would be easier to list the places I haven’t written!

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