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The best place to write

June 18, 2013

When I first started writing, I wrote anywhere–at work at lunchtime, on my balcony, at my desk, on the floor while a ballgame was on. I could do that because my notebook was portable. It also had college-ruled bond and a spiral binding.

One of the overlooked parts of the writing experience is finding a place to write. For many of us, especially those of us with families and televisions and computers playing the latest hit on YouTube, having that place is a key part of that experience.

While you might be able to get a lot done in the car while you’re waiting to pick someone up, or at the beach, or sitting the couch while no one else is home, you probably also need a spot.

I have a few.

Most of my writing has been done at my desk in the office–the front-most room of my house. When it’s loud I can shut the door. If I’m in the mood, I can stand and write or sit and write. But it’s a place that’s uniquely mine, where I don’t have to move other peoples’ stuff or work around their schedule or favorite show. I am thankful for my office.

However, there are others.

I’ve gotten a lot done at one of the tables in the cafe at Barnes and Noble, and more recently at the cafe at Whole Foods. Both places have free wifi, so a little discipline is required.

And one of my favorite places to write is my parents porch in upstate New York during the summer. It’s covered and screened in and the patio chair and table are nearly perfect for working.

I’m not alone. JK Rowling had a favorite cafe where much of the early Harry Potter work was done. Stephen King advises that you need a place with no phone, television, or video games. Kerouac wrote Doctor Sax in William Burroughs’ bathroom.

How about you? Where is your spot?

  1. June 18, 2013 8:00 am

    I always start in my study, and most of the work is done there. But I can’t stay there forever. I have a favorite chair in the living room where the light is soft in the afternoon. It gives me a change. Sometimes I go to Axum, a coffee place in Winter Garden, or Starbucks. But if I didn’t have my office, I’d never escape the constant noise of my husband’s television. One problem, though, is keeping it neat. It’s hard for me to work with piles of stuff all around, and I’m not good at keeping the detritus at bay.

  2. June 18, 2013 11:47 am

    I have an office like you Chris that I primarily use, but I also love to write on airplanes. No distractions!

  3. June 19, 2013 12:12 pm

    Like Agatha Christie, I think while I do the dishes, laundry, etc. Then I spill it out on paper at my desk.

  4. June 20, 2013 8:00 am

    Hmmmm… I’m one of those people who need QUIET when writing, so I have to sequester myself in order to get anything done. However… idea searching, inspriation seeking, and just general thinking if I’m stuck can be done just about anywhere.

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