Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writer Support #2 - Find Your Writing Spots

How are all you amazing writers out there doing? I hope those participating in NaNoWriMo 2015 are hitting it off - and hitting their word counts - with great ease! Figured it was time to drop another one of these helpful posts for you to enjoy, and I wanted to thank everyone for the great feedback I received over Twitter regarding my first Writer Support post :) I hope you all enjoy this next topic just as much as the first, and let me know if you have any suggestions for me or any writing topics you'd like me to post about, and I'd be happy to oblige!
In his amazing writing guide, No Plot? No Problem!, Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, lists a series of tips and suggestions about finding the best place to write, keeping in mind that everybody's different and some people will make progress in one type of environment over another. His suggestions are simple and easy to understand: Keep your writing area neat; Don't write in view of a bed; A place with expensive WiFi is a place where you'll be less likely to surf the internet and slack on your novel. All of his suggestions are top notch, and for my post I am going to expand on his suggestions with my own advice, as well as add a few suggestions for writing spots of my own. One thing I do recommend is that you always have more than one place where you can get a lot of good writing done, and if you're in need of one/two/several places to pen your novel, look no further!

Your Local Cafe. From Starbucks to that hidden local gem, you should hopefully have plenty of options for a quaint little spot to break out your notebook or laptop and start hacking away at your daily word goal. Locales like this are great for a number of reasons: If people watching helps you with your characterization, then you typically have plenty of material in a place such as this. If you'd prefer to be alone, all you need is a trusted pair of headphones, which Chris Baty stresses the importance of owning in his guide. If you live with roommates or need to get away from the kids for a while, hitting up a place like this is a great way to get away from it all and take in some much-needed caffeine at the same time. There are also locations similar to this that provide similar perks, such as a mall food court, which may be a bit nosier but will have a lot more opportunities for people watching. You may also appreciate a more Hemmingway-esque approach, and if so, your local watering hole may be the perfect place to order a stiff drink and get your noveling on!

An Outdoor Writing Oasis. I am aware of the fact that it is fall time, and it's not exactly going to be as nice to sit outdoors on your patio sipping away at a fruity drink and letting your creative juices flow. That being said, there are still a lot of advantages to picking an outdoor location to get some writing done, even during this time of year. For one, the beautiful colours of fall and that crisp air are both healthy to take in for your body and are perfect fodder for your creative spirit. Sitting somewhere a bit cooler and not exactly the most comfortable spot might allow you to hit some of your writing targets a bit faster, and you might find that if you participate in a writing spring somewhere outside as opposed to tacking one from the comforts of home that you might end up doing quite a lot better. Being outside, even if it's just in your back yard, brings its own sense of urgency. Also, as it gets later into the month and the temperatures begin to grow a little more unpleasant, you can use the weather to challenge yourself. On a day with no inclement weather conditions but where it's a bit too cold for your comfort, find a place like a park bench or any outdoor sitting area to write, and don't allow yourself to reenter the warmth of the indoors until you have hit a goal you've previously set for yourself. But let me caution you, please don't attempt this anywhere that's too cold for a person to be able to sit for an extended period of time, especially nowhere that has already seen snow. The last thing I want is to be responsible for you getting frost bite anywhere on your writing hand :(

Get Creative! Whether it's a home away from home, or finding your own little nook in the place where you live, there are plenty of possibilities for finding the places where you get the most writing done. If you prefer to write somewhere private, all you need is a room behind a closed door and you're good! Chris Baty suggests in his blog that if you don't even have so much as that, just camp out in front of a wall with a big pair of noise-cancelling headphones to make the rest of the world disappear. I've also heard stories of people who would grab a few necessities and camp out in their car parked in front of their home to get some piece and quiet in order to tackle that novel, because you can bring your own blankets, music, and food, and you're more than likely not going to be close enough to where you live to get a decent WiFi connection, so you'll avoid distractions. Sure, you might earn a few weird looks, but in the end it'll be worth it. There are people that take down their novels using a recording app on their phone, and if that's the case you have a wide range of places where crafting your work is an option, provided that you're not too worried about what some of the people around you might be thinking as you lay out your whole plot either on the commute to work, or on the treadmill, or even during a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. Your novel is a work of your creative faculties, so get creative when it comes to finding a writing space!

BLANKET FORT! I know this could technically belong to the 'Get Creative' category, but I think the idea of building and writing in a blanket fort deserves its own separate section :P Imagine building your own writing space that doesn't involve taking hours to organize all the crap and clutter on your desk, and also includes being surrounded in 360 degree coziness. I feel like if I had allowed myself the joy of setting up a 30 day blanket fort in one room of the house last year when I was participating in NaNoWriMo that I may have been able to concentrate a whole lot more on achieving my daily word counts. Hiding out in the blanket fort would be a good way to symbolize to your family and roommates that you are in the process or writing and are currently not free to be disturbed. Plus you could fill the space with any writing totems you might have, or anything that might keep you inspired to keep on trekking and hit that glorious 50,000 word finish line.

That's all for the second installment of my Writer Support series. Hope these tips were helpful! Let me know in the comments below about your favorite spots to write, and also if there's any other writing-related topics you'd like me to cover next :)


  1. I love the blanket fort suggestion. I went to an amazing event last year where there was tea and blanket forts to hang out in while we worked. It was magical.

  2. That is a fantastic blanket fort you have pictured there. I don't think I'd ever leave that thing. I'm definitely a cafe writer myself. People-watching can inspire me.

  3. Ha! I love that blanket fort suggestion. I'm doing NaNoWriMo but I've fallen FAR behind=( Still a very fun experience though!

  4. I love the blanket fort suggestion ;) But I must confess that my top first creative place is the coffee shop LOL