Do you seek to be inspired by your surroundings, or do you need blank-canvas-esque surroundings in order to let your thoughts find a home outside of your brain? Do you find comfort in a familiar, personalized space to free your story or need a refreshing change of scene to spark the imagination?
It’s important to write wherever you are and whenever you can, but equally important is knowing what makes you comfortable and when that comfort will help you. Working in an environment that clashes with your preferences and style frequently inhibits the creative flow of writing, but sometimes different locations can assist with different parts of the process.
For example, here’s my experience:
- Public Places (anywhere that requires shoes and something other than yoga pants)
- perfect for idea generation and free writing
- terrible for long term concentration and editing
- Home Sweet Home Office
- perfect for getting some solid work done
- terrible for refreshing my mind when I’m stuck
- Secret Hideout
- perfect for shutting myself away from the world when I have a deadline
- terrible for that moment when I remember that I brought along a good book and could read instead
Therefore, I have a coffee shop close to my home that I will visit when my mind has gone stale, a simply furnished office (because I’d rather spend the money on books!) tailored to how I want to feel when I’m there, and a list of state parks where I can disappear for a few days when I get frantic (more planning required for that one, of course).
What works for you? Where are you comfortable? And does a comfortable environment inspire, oppress, or enable your work?