07 Oct Sick of your Writing Desk? 7 Locations to Spark your Motivation
Many of us, like myself during lockdown, have been working from home. Tied to the desk, sofa, kitchen table, (even our bed on some occasions – admit it, we’ve all done it!). This odd time emphasised how different people adapt to this change and what kind of work and creative spaces people flourish in.
I’ve found that my productivity is subjective to what’s happening around me and I generally work better in louder and more happening spaces with distractions. If you’re anything like me and are looking for something in contrast to a quaint space such as a park or library, or if you’re seeking some peace and quiet this list may give you ideas for places to visit when you find yourself creating your own distractions at home.
1. Busy cafe
Rather than going for a quaint and relaxing reason fueled by coffee, this location is for those who can find calm in the chaos, not only could a busy atmosphere spark character or plot line ideas it also pressures you to zone in. Think of it like the last lap of Rainbow Road in Mario Kart where disarray is ensuing all over the track and miraculously you steam into first place. Screenwriter Scott Neustadter, famous for 500 Days of Summer, agrees. Speaking to Bustle Magazine in 2015 he was quoted saying, “The more chaos that’s happening, the more I can focus”.
2. Quiet spaces
Alternatively, you could try out some quieter spaces. Some people like to work in varying volumes. Most public libraries will have quiet or even silent floors, some may even have bookable desks or areas in which you can work in complete solitude. If you like the quiet but can’t focus without some white noise, try plugging in your earphones and listening to some sounds. Applications such as Headspace and White Noise Lite are marketed for better sleep; however, they can be used to destress and relax which many find helpful in focusing on their writing. The applications allow you to select varying sounds from generic white noise to heavy rain. Available to download for iOS or Android devices here:
3. The train
Buses are far too bumpy to write on and if you’re anything like me you’re too busy concentrating on pressing the button in time for your stop and not getting catapulted through the windshield to think about anything else. The train, however, provides a sort of moving desk in which you can conjure up stories about different people on the same commute. Picture yourself on a long journey somewhere out of the city, a quiet day mid-week, after rush hour. Perhaps you’re heading to meet a client or going away for the weekend. Use that time effectively. Can you get 500-5,000 words written on your next train journey?
4. The shower
Some of our best comebacks, ideas, and other life fantasies are played out in the shower, so why not use it for writing? Not literally though (unless you fancy testing out some waterproof paper, www.weatherwriter.co.uk has a selection, to stick to your shower wall or door). Hit record on a recording app and record yourself speaking on your phone or recording device and spare the damage to your laptop or notebook.
5. The locations in your book
Doesn’t matter if you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, if you can visit locations mentioned in your book, it may help you to become unstuck on what to do next. Become your character. If you’re writing tips or advice for your reader, take some of it, become your intended audience. There may be something or people at a location in which you never thought of before and can help you get to that next step. If it’s a location you may not be allowed access to, sit outside and look around, try not to get yourself in trouble in the name of chapter four.
6. Writing Retreat
You might want to consider booking a holiday from work/life/socialising and just get away to write somewhere! Many authors have gone off somewhere and managed to write tens of thousands of words in one go. One of our clients took a full week off work and booked a week in a country cabin to write in solitude. Kirsten teaches at writing retreats in the UK (these start back in Spring 2020 so check out Instagram or send an enquiry to find out more).
Use the notes app to take quick notes and ideas before you go so you’re prepared in advance of your retreat. This is time for writing and sitting in quiet to think about your book and its purpose. If you prefer to omit excessive screen time or phone use (which we highly recommend sometimes), take a notepad or and some sticky notes with you. Actually, these small pieces of paper can be handy to keep on you at all times as you never know when inspiration may strike. Even use a napkin or a receipt to scribble on, such as American W.C. Fields did, it may even aid the recall of the idea created in that moment.
Got any friends who are also in a writing rut? Why not try some ideas with others that may help you be more productive. Try hiring a space to co-work in, you may feel you’re more productive with others around you and to bounce ideas off. Prefer to work alone? Why not swap home working spaces for a period of time or a couple of days per week. You never know, your friend’s flat might become one of your new go-to writing spots. If you don’t know anyone in your location you may be able to test this idea out with, try using platforms such as Outsite in which you can arrange coworking and coliving opportunities which can provide a totally different and unique experience that could spark your creativity. Find more information about Outsite here: https://www.outsite.co/.
BONUS TIP: If you end up trying any of these locations out and your writing is still not managing to take flight, try approaching your methods in the complete opposite way, if you have been working in complete silence, work somewhere as loud as you can find, you may not think it’ll work for you but your most productive space could end up being the train station at rush hour.
Tag us in your pictures of your latest writing place which has inspired you. @kirstenreesedit
Any questions, follow us on Instagram and send me a quick DM. We’ll try our best to respond to within 24hours (except on weekends and holidays… because self-care is important for creatives!)