Shelley Widhalm

How to sneak in writing (and where to find good writing spots)

In Writing, Writing Processes, Writing Spots on March 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

Part of the writing process deals with the “what” and the “where.”

The “what” is doing the actual writing and the “where” is the physical place you, the writer, feel most comfortable sitting down and getting lost in the words. But this comfort shouldn’t limit you to writing only when you can show up to your special spot.

Make writing more entertaining by sneaking it in, knowing where to find a few good spots. Don’t let the excuse of not having the space or a short amount of time prevent you from starting. Realize where you write doesn’t have to be perfect and that you can make do just so you can write, even if it’s not at a desk or table.

Start by carrying a notebook wherever you go, except maybe the gym or the swimming pool. Inspiration can hit at unplanned or even awkward moments, such as when you’re out with friends or in a public, non-coffee shop place where pulling out a napkin or scrap of paper isn’t the norm. But do it anyway.

To find a good writing spot, ask yourself a few questions, making sure you’re ready to write elsewhere, too. For instance:

  • Do you need quiet or activity around you?
  • Do you need background noise—such as conversations, music, doors opening and closing and the sounds of food or drinks being made?
  • Do you want an area that’s open or cozy? Do you like working outside or in a small room, such as a closet converted into an office?
  • Do you need bright lights or sunshine, or do you need cloudy weather and low lighting?
  • Do you want to write alone or be around other people?
  • Do you want your things around you set up in a special way?
  • Do you want to go somewhere away from home and the excuses of chores and whatever else can distract you?
  • Do you have a time of day when you do your best writing? Do you need a routine, or a schedule?

Here are a few places you can try: a desk in the bedroom or living room, the library, coffee shops, restaurants, the mall or a porch, deck or patio as long as the weather is warm and the wind isn’t blowing.

Once you find a spot you consider inspiring, yet comfortable, make that your go-to, your office, your special place to engage in and do your writing. It will then become that room of your own.

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  1. And don’t forget that you’re smartphone can be a great tool for anything from jotting down notes to writing entire stories. I’ve written a few short stories over the course of a few weeks sneaking in 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there.

    Great post!

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