There is all sorts of very helpful advice available now for people who want to write but find it difficult to get started… there is also a lot of other advice which may not be so good, and some advice you have to pay for. One of the things which is often discussed is where people write, their actual physical environment where they do their writing.
- An example I came across suggested that the actual location didn’t matter, as long as it was a place which was specific to writing, away from where you do other things, a ‘special place’ – great, absolutely correct… if you can find such a place (luckily I can now; there was a time in my life when I couldn’t and had to just write where I was)
- Another example was very sensibly, a place where you can write without being interrupted or distracted – yes, good advice… however it then went on to suggest an office – does it mean you should create an office at home or rent office space? is that always possible? … a library, good choice except these days libraries are very interactive places with lots of people wandering around and things going on – lots of distractions, I would have thought, as well as all those books to seduce you away from your own book! … coffee-house – yes I know J.K.Rowling famously write in a coffee-house, but a place without interruption or distraction? I don’t think I know any coffee houses like that – also other people will be wanting to sneak a peep at what you’re doing, talk to you about it, ask you about it, tell you about the book they are writing/want to write/would write/couldn’t write etc, plus unless you keep buying cups of coffee you are not going to be popular with the people who work there or own it!
- I came across a site which offered 22 examples of where you might write – but it all boiled down to ‘anywhere you want’; it listed the examples I’ve mentioned above, it also mentioned situations which you could use to continue writing (bus, train, ferry – and bus/train/ferry stations, by the pool (what pool?) in a lent space such as a friend’s house or a client’s office (really? I can’t believe that!) outside locations such as a park or zoo – weather dependent of course, especially in England, plus weird things such as ‘a castle’. It did suggest a shed/summer-house which is a good idea
- Another list of suggestions included many of those already mentioned, but also the shower and in bed… the shower? Yes, the suggestion was to invest in waterproof technology… Now I just think that part of it is silly – but I’ve found a lot of writing happens in my head… so not physical writing but internal writing, and a shower or bath would be ideal! And bed – yes, you can physically write in bed, but you can also use reclining or lying in bed to do a lot of very important head writing!
… which brings me onto, my thoughts…
My thoughts are that I agree with the premise of many of these suggestions that you can choose to write wherever suits you, but actually you do need to think about where does suit you! A ‘special’ place mentioned in the first point above doesn’t have to be a twee writerly place all cosy and full of inspirational things – it can be the place where you can comfortably lose yourself in what you are doing, without – and here is the key, without distractions and interruption. But what counts as distractions is also personal – I sit by a window – that might be distracting for some people, it’s inspiring for me!
My last thought sums up the last point from above – a lot of writing goes on inside your head; so strange places like the shower can be perfect, but also every other place mentioned on all the other lists can be perfect too because you always have your head with you!!
Last of all… if you want to read what I have written in all the different places I’ve written, including in pubs, on public transport, in a car, in boring meetings, in waiting rooms, at an event I have no interest in but I’m with someone who really, really wants to be there, and of course, here in my chaotic and untidy tiny writing room, then here is a link to my ebooks and my paperback Radwinter:
PS my featured image is not a view from my window, it is a view from the hotel window when we were staying in Hobart, Tasmania – now that really would be inspirational!