This is a very personal question for a writer and I don’t feel that there is a right or wrong answer for this. But, at the same time, I think that this is an issue that many, if not most, new writers and even experienced writers struggle with because there are so many preconceived ideas about where and what a good writing location should be. Also, I think that this is something that you will find changes over time.
These days, I can pretty much write anywhere at anytime when I’m not busy with work or doing family stuff. But, when I really started out writing, it was on the floor of the barracks, because “Bed are for sleeping in, not sitting on!” So I sat on the floor and wrote in notebooks to pass the time. After I was discharged from basic for health reasons, I mainly wrote in my room. This was not an ideal writing location for me which I thinks brings us to the first criteria for a good writing location,
You need to be able to concentrate. Note I say concentrate, not distraction free. This is an important point that I think a lot of people get hung up over. Your writing place needs to be somewhere where you can concentrate and your ideas can flow. That is different than cloistering yourself away from the world. For me, at that point in my writing career, I was too easily distracted by the stuff around me or I would allow myself to get distracted. This was not conducive to writing.
Later, when I was an exchange student in Japan, I learned that I needed limited options of things to do for me to be able to really focus on writing. Too many options and five minutes becomes two hours. This had some downsides though. I was pretty isolated and that was not so good for getting the ideas flowing, I found that my writing was too linear and the plots were boring.
Which brings us to criteria two. You need a place where you can think and be inspired. This is different for everyone. Some people can get this from a TV others will need a cafe, and some few can get this sitting in a cabin in the woods with nothing but a pen and a piece of paper, but what you need to do is find where your mind can breath. There is a possible contradiction here, because maybe this place where you can find inspiration is different from where you can write. That’s okay. Take the inspiration, make a note of it and then go write it. Rinse and repeat. Your writing.
Honestly, these days the place where I can get my most writing done is at work. I know this sounds like a less than ideal place but for me it works. My work offers limited distractions, people to interact with and who I can get ideas from, and time to concentrate on my writing. My situation is a little different than most, being an ALT in Japan, but it works for me.
The thing is though that I am getting to the point in my writing now where I can write anywhere. I can watch a leaf fall and get something from that or I can be smashed like a sardine on the train and get something there and write about it. But, this took time and it took years of writing for me to be able to do this and I still find myself getting distracted, but sometimes those distractions are good because they are where I find some inspiration. For the most part though, I still need a balanced environment outside my home to really dig into my writing.
All of this is me though and we are all different so, next time you hear someone say that a cafe is where fake authors go to write but that is where you do your best writing, don’t let them make you worry that you are doing something wrong. Go find your spark and the place where you can build your fire. Wherever that is, it is precious and it is right.
So, where do you write? I’m curious to hear. If you’d like to share, leave a comment below.
If you would like to read more, follow any of the links and enjoy. Oh, and if you could leave a review when you are finished reading it, that would be a great help. Reviews help me to know your thoughts and help others know if a book is for them. Thank you.
If you are interested in looking at any of my publications, here they are:
Account of the Change Series: