Where should you go (or avoid) when the writing itch hits?
If you are a writer, chances are that you might find it difficult to put pen to paper every now and then. At times, it’s because you’re uninspired; Other times, it’s the lack of motivation that’s holding you back. Whatever the reason, writer’s block can be downright frustrating, even for seasoned wordsmiths. The solution? A simple change of environment to break out of that funk.
Writing might seem to be a desk-bound job, but it sure isn’t one. Plugging away at the same place for hours on end is a recipe for mental burn out. What any aspiring writer needs most is a combination of focus and creativity, not endless tedium.
If the creative juices aren’t flowing, perhaps it is time to get up and get moving. Pack up your writing instrument(s) of choice, tie up your shoelaces, and take a look at some of the best (and worst) places for creating your next literary masterpiece.
Finding Focus Anywhere
This is what bestselling psychological fiction author Stephen King has to say about the ideal ‘writing’ environment:
“If possible, there should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall.”
In the Digital Age, King’s advice can be hard to follow. More often than not, we are already highly dependent on technology for our entertainment and social needs; In fact, most people will find it hard to resist sneaking in a mobile game or checking Facebook while at work.
Take the first step towards writing productively by creating (or finding) a place with zero digital distractions. Power down your phone, close your Internet browser, or simply go back to basics with a paper and pen.
Productive Places: Where You Should Be Writing
Most writers tend to thrive in quiet environments. Being in a tranquil space not only helps connect you to your inner voice, but it also allows you to evaluate thoughts with mental clarity. Keep this in mind the next time you hunt for a writing spot; Research suggests that ambient noise has negative effects on work performance and can even be demotivating or stressful.
Looking for a place to boost your writing efficiency? The most productive spots also tend to be the most convenient. Create a space that is in close access to all resources – with books, notes, writing instruments, all within handy reach. Rather than spending time searching for materials and interrupting your focus, managing a conducive space helps to when you want to hunker down for a long period of writing.
Quiet, peaceful and packed with knowledge, a library is another productive space for writing. Furthermore, access to their valuable resources and wide range of materials are usually free-of-charge.
Alternatively, you can look for a peaceful spot in the office, one that is isolated from the hustle-and-bustle of your workplace. Hygiene concerns aside, even the office loo can be a great environment to write if it is sufficiently quiet!
Lousy Locations: Where You Should NOT Be Writing
Predictably, the worst places for writing are often those that are lacking in privacy. Unless you are someone who enjoys a challenge (writing a novel while skydiving, anyone?), it’s generally distracting to work in locations where unwanted eyes might be looking.
Topping the list of places that lack privacy are public eateries, like cafes and fast-food restaurants; They are often filled to the brim with passing customers and their prying looks. Also, nothing’s more irritating than the insufferable busybody who believes that it’s his/her duty to judge your work without being asked.
Alternatively, if you have fancy expectations about writing on a picturesque beach or field, hold that thought. At first glance, jotting down your thoughts in the great outdoors might look to be an incredibly liberating experience, but it is definitely not as relaxing as it is hyped up to be.
For a start, Mother Nature’s ‘office’ is lacking in comfortable furniture. And no, she will not grant you access to the thermostat controls. Just imagine the horror of roasting in the sweltering heat or freezing your buttocks off, making feeble attempts to write even when your brain’s screaming to get out.
Take Control of Your Workspace
Given the multitude of private and public settings that can serve as a conducive (or not) space to begin writing, the list of places that a writer should work in is surely inexhaustible. What matters more, however, is taking the first step to improve your working environment in a way that suits your tastes.
Always remember, if things are not working out in your favour, try making small tweaks. For instance, you can politely ask your chit-chatting colleagues to lower their voices, request for a desk change or just move away to a quieter location.
And if all else fails, a pair of snug earplugs is always a good investment.
Written by: (www.script.com.sg)
Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd