Any place but here

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.The Daily Post

I wouldn’t say the environment has that much to do with the quality of my writing. My eagerness to get out of my home to write has more to do with getting myself to write at all. Writing at home is an iffy proposition. I’d love to feel comfortable writing at my desk—the convenience! the immediacy! the savings on lattes!—but often I’m not. I blame this on grad school. I associate writing at my desk with every paper I had to write for my degree, most of them spewed out the night before the deadline, written in a mixture of near-panic and overwhelming sleepiness. Now, maybe the way to erase that association would be to write lots of fun things at my desk, but getting past that initial reluctance is a bit of a challenge.

(That said, I’m writing this post at home, because sometimes a writing expedition just isn’t feasible. But if you’re reading this, I want you to know the writing conditions were less than ideal. As we approach July 4, my neighbors have decided to start the fireworks early. Reassuring myself that they’re not about to set my building on fire is distracting me. Remember: always blame others for your writing difficulties!)

Cup of tea and writer's journal

photo credit: Raheel Shahid

My preferred writing environment is a café, though I prefer my cafés to be on the quiet side. Introvert though I am, I apparently do need some level of noise around me to write. So there I am, plunked down in a corner by myself, but surrounded by other people’s conversations while music that I wouldn’t have chosen for myself pours out of the speakers. These are apparently the conditions that the Muse enjoys, because at some point, suddenly a sentence drifts through my head, another one follows it, and I abruptly lose interest in all the distractions on my computer and start writing. I don’t know why this is, although my current hypothesis is that the environment is just unfamiliar enough (conversations between strangers, music that I didn’t choose, chairs and tables that aren’t quite the right height) that it knocks me out of the known and into creativity.

Or maybe my Muse simply loves chai lattes. 😀


1 thought on “Any place but here

  1. Pingback: My Writing Spaces | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

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