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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Write Away

Write Away

How many of you write away from home? Perhaps you always write away from home due to distractions, or lack of space. Do you go somewhere before or after work? Are your weekends an escape route to writing?

If you haven't tried writing away from home before, maybe it's time to try it. Personally, I find it energising to have a change now and again.

Here are a few ideas.

Libraries - Most libraries have had to face severe cuts over the last few years, however there are some that have a late evening or two, and most have an area where you can set up with a note book and pen, or even your tablet or laptop in some cases.

Coffee Bars  - These can be hectic, but maybe you're one of those people who can filter out background noise, or perhaps you welcome it. Most cafes have no objection to you setting up and working as long as you buy a drink every now and again.

Public Transport - Trains and buses are good for this, especially the train if you can get a table seat. Go with your notebook on the bus, or try writing on your mobile phone. It's amazing what can be achieved in even the shortest journey.

Waiting Rooms - Be it the doctor, dentist or solicitors. It's possible to get a few snatched words down before your name gets called, and you don't even notice the wait.

Cars - Writing in your car, whether that be on the carpark at work during your lunch break, or a place you've driven to especially.

Motorway Service Stations - Don't rule these places out. It's possible to find a good spot to sit and watch the world go by, and also pen a few chapters of your novel. Or glean ideas for that short story.

Motorhomes & Caravans - Very doable, and with a view that keeps changing.

Outdoor Spaces - Okay, so this one is obviously weather dependent, but worth trying. Perhaps a bench in the park. Or your own personal retreat at the bottom of your garden. I've heard all about sheds that have been converted into writing dens. Or maybe you have an allotment shed? Or a beach hut?

Hotels - It's usual to see people working in hotel foyers, or lounges these days, and again as long as you order a drink or two, you'll find no one really bothers you. Your entire novel could be penned at the Hilton, or at a Premier Inn.

Other People's Homes  - This can work very well, especially if they are writers too. The added bonus here, is you usually stop and have  a writerly natter too. If they aren't writers, then perhaps if you're babysitting, or looking after their home for a week whilst they are away on holiday you can type away for an hour or so.  Be sure to get their permission on that last idea.

Trying out a variety of venues can be fun. Some will work well, and others won't work so well, but all will be a change. Don't assume where you write now is the best environment. Take you writing out on tour, and experience a different setting, different noises, smells and scenery. A writer on the move needs very little these days. Have a bag ready. Laptop, notebook, pens etc Go on, try it this week!

Let me know where you write? And any unusual places you've tried.


16 comments:

  1. The most inspirational place I've written a story was in a cafe on the top of a mountain in the Alps. The vast landscape reminded me that writing constraints should be abandoned and new territory explored to the max. That story is now in the bottom drawer waiting to be transformed into a novel (at the advice of my former writing intructor :)). Have a lovely week, Maria.

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    1. What a lovely story Nicola, I hope you do transform it into a novel one day.

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  2. I have always found writing away from home difficult and distractive and my work has often been disappointing in quality and quantity when I've read it back later. Maybe I would react differently if I had no choice and was simply unable to write at home. Its a very interesting post Maria, which opens up all kinds of doors for each of us. There are a few places in your list which I haven't tried and are worth a shot. That's one of the fascinating things about the writer - we are all so different. I do manage some time in the quiet study rooms at the local university library, but have mainly used that for editing work on my manuscript, rather than new writing. Some of the talks I have attended where writer's reveal their own writing working patterns, locations and the reasoning behind those choices are an education.

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    1. Hey Keith, I think it's one of those things that you grow into...do try out a few locations and let me know how it works for you. :-)

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  3. I arranged to meet a friend for coffee one morning last week, but she stood me up. I stayed in the cafe for an hour writing descriptions of the other customers and the staff. I have no plan for these notes, but I'm sure they'll come in useful one day. It just goes to show how vital it is to keep pen and paper handy.

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    1. People watching is great, and that exercise will definitely come in somewhere in your writing.

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  4. I've tried most of these, Maria, but I am far too easily distracted. I have the attention span of a gnat. I can write in the car if I'm parked somewhere quiet. I always have a notebook with me and make notes though. I've tried writing on long car journeys but I always end up looking out of the windows!

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    1. I'm a butterfly, so I know what you mean. I haven't done lots of writing in the car, only usually when I haven't done the task for the writers group! And I end up doing it on the carpark.

      I might have to try parking up somewhere and trying it again.

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  5. I tend to stick to writing at home, because I don't have to worry about taking the right pen with me - I edit in an array of colours. I've started writing in my garden when I start a new draft, and my local tea shop/bookshop woks well for editing at the other end of the process. I do like the idea, and should do it more often.

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    1. You sound like a very organised woman. I wish we had a tea shop/bookshop I would definitely be in there!

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  6. The actual fingers to keyboard gets done at home, Maria, because I need quiet and access to books and papers.

    But if I'm somewhere else and an idea strikes me, or a scene pops into my mind then I always have a notebook and pens with me, so I can write it down- if there's a seat that's good, otherwise I will just stand out of the main flow of people and quickly write whatever it is in my notebook.

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    1. Oh you're much better than me Carol, I write straight onto my phone when it comes to stuff that happens as I'm out and about...I still use notebooks though, but more for a sitting down situation.

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  7. I think you know which of those on your lst is my favourite!

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    1. Yes, it was quite easy to work out. You are a writer out on tour! :-) Looking forward to catching up soon.

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  8. My favourite places to write are in a cafe or on a train - but it must be with pen and paper!

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