Where do you write?

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Where do you write?

When I’m at home, I have three places:

  1. My desk
  2. Sitting on my bed
  3. Sitting on the couch

Which of these I choose on any given day depends largely on where the children are and how loudly they are playing. You really can only have the headphones so loud before you start doing damage.

The desk, the bed and the couch are all great when working at home, but most of my writing time happens in the morning, away from home. Like right now.

I’m sitting at a long table at the back of a bookstore. It’s sort of quiet here. Not many people browsing through the reference section on a Monday morning. Usually I sit over in the cafe, but that hasn’t been working out so well lately. There’s really only one ideal table in the cafe, and if you don’t arrive early enough, you don’t get it. Or, as happened last week, you end up sharing the table with a whack job. Long story. Moving on.

I used to write at the Starbucks over on the corner, but it’s very noisy there and I always run into people I know. That second part isn’t bad, but it doesn’t lend itself to productivity.

I tried another bookstore nearby, but they don’t have any wall outlets available to customers. That left me scratching my head. Don’t they want people to spend time there? Browsing their books and buying their lattes? Weird.

Ideally, I’d be sitting at my desk at home. Or on my couch with my dog curled up next to me. Or in a cabin in the woods. But logistically none of those work right now. So I’m here, at this long table toward the back of the store.

Kind of wish they’d turn down the air. And the music. *sigh*

This is all petty, isn’t it? I mean, the truth is, writers should be able to write anywhere. Part of this gig is learning how to be unflappable, learning how to persevere through those difficult things like rejection and fickle laptop batteries, right?

It’s got me considering, though, what aids my writing and what hinders it. Sharing a table with a guy two pawns short of a chess set definitely hinders. And quiet certainly helps. But until I get that cabin in the woods, the biggest aid to my writing is adaptability. Shouldering past those distractions–the rude guy, the hard chair, the loud music, the cold a/c–to focus again (and again) on the page.

Curious: Do you have to have a particular environment to work? Or have you mastered the ability to work anywhere?


5 thoughts on “Where do you write?

    Kati Bartkowski's storysketches said:
    April 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I have a few places that I work, but all of them I am easily distracted unless I am really into what I’m writing at that moment. At home I’m distracted by either the books I own, or my boyfriend, when I’m out at the bookstore cafe I get distracted by usually loud conversations of other people, or my random need to browse the shelves. But I think that this is a problem that all writers suffer through.

    Amanda Hoving said:
    April 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Amy! I usually write fiction on my desktop (in my office), and nonfiction on my laptop (on the couch). Not sure how this happened, but I think it’s because when I write fiction I need to concentrate more. However, either way, the distractions of the household chores and activities get to me. I’ve been thinking about bringing my laptop to the library and writing there.

    Kris Tualla said:
    April 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I always write in my “office” – but all fiction is done on my laptop and all non-fiction on the desktop. I can’t do it the other way around!

    A.M. Kuska said:
    April 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I bought a pair of earplugs designed to protect your ears from gunfire. It does a real good job of telling people I don’t want to talk, while at the same time giving me the quiet I need. ^^

    Lisa Nowak said:
    April 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    One of my favorite places to work is lying on my stomach on the floor with my laptop in front of me and a cat draped over my legs.

    I haven’t mastered the ability to work everywhere, and noise is what distracts me the most. When the words don’t want to come, I try to make the best of my writing rhythms and use the rest of the day for other tasks. Like commenting on blogs. πŸ™‚

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