Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Write Away From Home

How come being at home makes it harder to write? For me, its usually because I think of all the other things I could do. There are so many distractions.

It’s time to write! Oh wait, I need a glass a water.
It’s time to write! I need to feed the cat
It’s time to write! I have to do some laundry
Its time to write! Im too tired, I want to nap
It’s time to write! Look! Shiny!

Reasons Why Writing at Home is Difficult
  • Too many distractions
  • Hard to make the work/home separation
  • Home can get lonely
  • Sometimes you just need to be in a different environment
Stepping away from all of the distractions of home can help you to focus. There are many places that  provide enough background white-noise to occupy that piece of your brain that craves distraction. Or provide perfect quiet to write in peace. It is important to find a place that suits you the best, and encourages writing.

Choosing a Writing Place:

The Library
Pros: it can be a great place for quiet, calm atmosphere. Plus you are surrounded by books, its also free.
Cons: you are surrounded by books – for bibliophiles like me that can be a problem, might be too quiet for some.

Coffee Shop:
Pros:  coffee – aka liquid awesome, atmosphere of people and the sounds of the espresso machine, some have outlets for laptops, best to go to these during slow times.
Cons: loud crowds, obnoxious music, high prices, sometimes uncomfortable seats or little space.

Pros: nice comfy booths, good people watching, food and drink.
Cons: can get busy during peak times, waiters might not like you sitting there for hours and only buying a cup of joe.

Panera: - sort of like a coffee shop/café hybrid
Pros: nice atmosphere, outlets, wifi, you can buy an iced tea for $2, or get a healthy bite to eat if you're hungry.
Cons: busy during lunch times, they squawk out customer names overhead when food is ready.

Pros: You really don’t have to buy anything, lots of people watching.
Cons: the smell of grease, people are extra loud and obnoxious.

Pros: you are already there, writing on your break can help you feel better about the rest of your day, and depending on where you work there may be other pros.
Cons: interruptions, other distractions of the work kind

Local University:
Pros: good atmosphere, people watching, they usually have nice libraries and cafe areas, too.
Cons: Comparing yourself to young, svelte hipsters with bright eyes about their future makes you feel a deep existential loss.

On Bus/Train/Plain/Car: - you are the passenger of course
Pros:  Nothing else to do so you might as well write, you can gaze out of the window every now and then, people are generally more quiet, be selective about your company here.
Cons: all of the bumps can make handwriting unintelligible, not good if you can get car sick

In Nature:
Pros: The sweet sounds, sights, and smells of nature, the wild can be so invigorating and relaxing, there is people watching too depending on the kind of park/area you go to, otherwise you can Walden it up!
Cons: Bugs, Sun, Weather, Poison Ivy, Mischevious Fae

Where do you Write Away?


  1. This is a nice list. I find doing much of anything besides mindless or entertainment activities at home to be difficult. It definitely takes a certain mental discipline to buckle down and do something, and sometimes a change of environment can really aid in that. By the by, if home is too lonely, come on down and write where there are more people - even if you're not talking, sometimes just having people around is nice.

    1. Thanks!! Yeah, I think just knowing people are in the house and I can go downstairs to hang out helps me feel better :) It is really hard to do anything productive at home sometimes, my mind just wants me to chill-ax.

  2. Honestly, I do my best writing at home. Although usually only when the internet is off and I'm in the house alone, because people do distract me!
    I have tried writing other places thoug. I found starbucks was a pretty good place, but the tables are somewhat tiny. Makes it hard if you need to spread things out! I find Libaries just to quiet for me, I need some noise otherwise I get freaked out!
    I like going to small cafes because they tend to be quieter than chain places, and its not quite as expensive. Also the beach is lovely if it is a warm day, but I always find it weird using my laptop outside!
    Thanks for the suggestions, and it is always nice to change things up a bit!

    1. It's good to hear that you can write well at home, I think I could do better too if I can conquer the distractinatar.

      I have never tried writing at the beach... sounds wonderful though. It would be awesome to rent a little house on the beach for a couple of weeks and just write, a la "Gift from the Sea" :)

  3. If I'm in a zone I can write at home but if I'm looking for distractions, it's one of the worst places to try and get anything done, writing-wise. Thanks for the suggestions--I love the practicality of this post!! :)

  4. Agreed, Ari! Home can be a great place to write if the setting is right. (that rhymed!)I usually can write well at home in the mornings or early afternoon, but my mind wants to tell me that I could or "should" be doing other things. hehe.


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