So I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t pay much attention to where I do my writing. It’s usually at home, on the couch or at the desk. The printer is nearby, and there are some shelves to stash notes and what-not. Plus, there is a nice big window nearby that lets in a ton of sunlight. I’ve got a power bar within easy reach to keep any devices charged, and the bar fridge has pop and snacks in it. All-in-all, it’s a nice little nook to write in a fairly crowded home. I like where I write. It’s comfortable.
But is it conducive to writing?
Where you do your writing can have a big impact on the quality of what you produce, as well as the relative ease or difficulty. Now, everyone is going to have slightly different ideal conditions. For some people, they like/need to be surrounded by chaos. Others need things to be clean. Some like quiet, others need noise. I can go on and on, but that’d be boring.
So trying to say what is, and is not, an ideal writing location is pretty impossible. There are three general things that most people are going to need in their space. Organization, no distractions, and inspiration/motivation. But those three things can look like drastically different things to different people.
In the above image you can see that my space isn’t the neatest, but I know where things are and have quick/easy access to my most used non-computer resources (namely paper, the printer, pens/pencils, and my notes). When I’m feeling blocked I go on a cleaning spree, but this little corner generally doesn’t get much neater (partly due to limited space).
As for distractions -well, I find movies and TV shows distracting. Even when I can’t see them. If I can hear them, then I’m distracted. But I can’t work in silence either. So I use music. Generally instrumental, but sometimes I use specific songs that are “theme” songs for a story I’m working on. Finally, my inspiration/motivation comes from the ample amount of sunlight, my NaNo Winner certificates on the wall, and the general comfort of the area.
But your own space probably looks quite different.
Regardless of what your space looks like, or what you think your ideal space would be like (mine requires more shelves, drawers, and walls covered in white boards and cork boards), I challenge you to not use it.
Yup, that’s right.
I want you to take your laptop, tablet, pen and notebook, or whatever else it is you use, and go somewhere! A coffee shop, library, park, friend’s house, restaurant, or bus. Just somewhere different. What you write might not be as “good” as the stuff you produce while in your space, but it’ll be fresh. So what if it needs a little bit more editing? You’re going to have to rewrite stuff anyway, so who cares what your first (or even second) draft looks like?
Although it’s often cheesy, and most definitely needs to be cleaned up, the stuff I write in different locations takes my stories in interesting directions. Sometimes along paths I hadn’t considered before. Obviously I need to cut the in-jokes, silly references, and excessive description, but it brought up an idea that is going to make the overall story better. Y’know, once I finish cutting away the excess.
Besides, even if what you write at the library (or wherever) is 100% fluff with no useable elements at all -at least you’re writing, and coming up with new ideas! Don’t let your writing get stale. Mix things up, rediscover the fun of writing, and keep the ideas flowing. 🙂