Where Do You Write?



by ARHuelsenbeck


I am blessed to have my own writing room. It’s my daughters’ former bedroom, outfitted with a desk, a dresser, two overfilled bookcases, two stuffed file cabinets, 3 stacks of TBR books, and 12 banker’s boxes of miscellany I need to find places for. I can generally be found there daily from noon to 4 pm, supposedly doing writing-related stuff.

Of course, there are myriad of distractions inherent in working at home. Sometimes I need a change of scene in order to get quality writing done.

I’ve gone to the library for some uninterrupted writing time (because my husband is retired and doesn’t always respect my need not to be interrupted). Of course, there are distractions there, too. Caverns of books I haven’t read and movies I haven’t seen. A coffee shop. A Friends of the Library book store. But if I head straight for a study carrel and don’t move for four hours, I can usually put lots of words on my laptop.

Sometimes I meet writer friends at a coffee shop where, after a few minutes of conversation and the company of a steamy mocha latte, we get down to work. I’m always surprised how productive these sessions are. Maybe we inspire each other to focus and get lost in our work.

Sometimes I get my best work done while I’m walking in the neighborhood by myself. I bring a notebook and a pen, and write myself questions about plot problems, and brainstorm possible solutions. I’ve done poetry walks where I jot down observations that later grow into poems. Moving somehow opens up a creativity portal.

We writers need to recognize when we’re in a rut and change our modus operandi to jumpstart our inspiration. If you can’t make progress at the dining room table, go sit by the community pool. If you can’t concentrate at Starbucks, try the park. If you’re waiting for an uninterrupted block of time that never comes, get up 15 minutes early and make that your writing appointment time, even if you have to write in the bathroom.

What about you? Where do you write? Does it help you to have the consistency of a certain time and place? Do you keep pencil and paper or your phone with you at all times so that you can jot notes whenever and wherever the muse appears? Or do you use standing-in-line moments or commuting time to write? Share your answers in the comments below.




Guest post contributed by ARHuelsenbeck. Former elementary general music teacher ARHuelsenbeck blogs about the arts and the creative process at ARHtistic License. She is currently writing a YA mystical fantasy and a Bible study guide, and submitting a poetry chapbook, with mystery and MG drafts waiting in the wings. You can follow her on Twitter, and see some of her artwork, photography, and quilts on Instagram.


26 thoughts on “Where Do You Write?

  1. I write in bed, usually with the television on. It’s easier for me to focus when there’s noise and I’m not forcing myself to focus. I get a lot more words down when I’m not super precious about writing the “right” way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have found a local deli that opens early and has comfortable enough chairs. I can knock out a scene or two before work or during my lunch break. So long as I stay in my routine, my mind gets right down to its writing business as soon as I am in place, notebook out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Greetings! I have an “Office” that sounds a lot like the one belonging to the author of this piece. My hubby is “retired” also. He can be very distracting. (I told him he’s still got it!) He operates a non-profit, so I told him he HAD to keep regular office hours. I write here on my blog, on my phone, in a journal, in a Word press document called “Just Write”. It’s full of nonsense and real stuff too. I’ve been known to take notes on posties, and napkins, and even ink on my hand. If I don’t write it somewhere, it disappears forever. It can then get transferred to where it needs to be. I do not do well in public places. Every little thing distracts. I’m jealous of those who can actually write in a coffee shop. Coffee and writing are natural companions. Thanks for the opportunity to put all these thoughts in one place!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally relate to the phenomenon of brilliant phrases and ideas disappearing because I didn’t get a chance to write them down. The other problem I have is finding a note that says something like “Hillary and yellow butter” and not remembering what the significance is. . .

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m kind of all over the place; I use my phone if I’m struck to write somewhere and I don’t have anything else with me. If I’m home I’ll switch between writing in notebooks vs the computer. It also depends on what I’m working on. I also don’t have a scheduled set time to write but I do have a “time goal” of writing for at least 20 minutes. I think if I had a specific time of day/routine it might make me feel “more stuck”… or maybe I’d actually get more done. Hard to say lol.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There’s a lot to be said for changing it up, especially when it comes to mode of writing. I love when I have a pen with ink that flows nicely. It’s almost as if the words just flow out. If the pen skips a lot, I’d rather just work on a device. I end up typing everything into the computer, anyway, since it’s easier to edit there.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m not exactly an introvert, which means I’m good at socializing and writing in the midst of chaos. But if I’m a coffee shop and I have my laptop out and I’m facing it….do not interrupt me. My earbuds/headphones will allow me to ignore you and I will ignore you. Hopefully, you do not need Heimlich. My writing space is wherever I take it. My home is split between Work and a 3 hours away HOME. Soooo, its where I take it. Trying to set up an option to dictate in my car since I travel a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have a place in one of the bedrooms where I write. The view of nature outdoors is conducive to my writing. However, our 3 cats love to come by for attention, hence I’m writing when they are all asleep. That being said, I have 2 other places where I am most productive when it comes to writing–the library and my church.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have switched areas of my house to write but I am at my most productive very early in the day. My love of coffee fits nicely into this trinity of coffee, writing and getting up early. One thing I do with distractions is put them to work. I use them to refresh and direct my subconscious mind to the writing while I do the dishes or change the cat’s litter box. Once back at my laptop, the answer is usually found.

    Liked by 1 person

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