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Sit me down just about anywhere with a good book, and I can settle down to read it.  Writing, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.

When it comes to putting my metaphorical pen to paper, I find it hard to come up with anything creative unless I'm sitting at the island/work-surface thingy  in my kitchen.  If push comes to shove, I can work at my official desk space, down in the basement, but the results are never quite as good.

As for revisions, rewrites etc., if I'm not in the car in my favorite parking spot at the local McDonalds, sipping a large coffee (with three creams and no sugar), it just doesn't seem right .

I can't explain what or why, I just know there's something about these places in particular which get my creative juices flowing.  My best guess?  Our muse knows our favorite writing locations.  If she sees us there, she'll come visit, but she won't go looking for us anyplace else. 

Am I crazy?  Perhaps, but if so, I'm not the only one.  One of my GSHW friends says he does his best writing at the local cemetery - and he doesn't even write horror.

How about you?

Where's your creative hotspot?

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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Good question - each story I've completed and sold has been written at work, on my breaks. Can't get anything going at home. My conclusion is that I need a background static to open my doors; at home I'm expecting to have to interrupt my train of thought to do something so my focus is on that instead of on writing, and if I go somewhere else when not at work my focus is feeling guilty about not being at home doing stuff for the wife than on my writing.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Lol, I'm glad you added "on my break" ;)

I started doing the McDonalds thing at weekends (I'm usually up at about 5:30/6:00am, and I don't want to disturb anybody). It's good to have somewhere to go where there aren't any phones or email.

Thanks for sharing :)
(no subject) - temporus - Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - temporus - Sep. 23rd, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 23rd, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Typing, I need the surface as you said. Brainstorming, outlining or first drafting a short article, I can crank back on a lawn chair in the park with ye olde notebook and pen.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried the park, but I should think that would work... so long as I could pick up my McDonalds coffee en route ;)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
I enjoy writing on the back porch listening to the birds. I also write in a coffee shop twice a week because it helps get me out of the house. Or I just sit in a chair or bed with my laptop and write.

Those are the main places I write, though.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I remember you mentioned writing on the back porch a while back. I've tried that, but I couldn't relax :(
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
I have no specific location, though I do most of my writing upstairs in my loft office, on a computer NEVER hooked up to the internet. For me, it's more about background noise. I can work with music on, as long as there are no lyrics. I can work with noise, as long as there is no one talking. I guess I cannot work with the written word when the spoken word is there gumming up my brain.

My creative hotspot, however, tends to be my shower. It's not where I get much work done, for obvious reasons, but it's where I'm most often hit with epiphanies.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
I'm usually okay with distractions. Once the kids are up (or home from school), my kitchen writing is usually accompanied by three TVs and a cd player, but I can tune that out.

Walking and showers help me sort out plot problems when simply sleeping on them doesn't work.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
I am very boring: I have a table in the dining area/alcove of my apartment, and I set up my teeny laptop and write there. Although sometimes I park on the couch with either my laptop or, for longhand drafts, my sheaf of paper, on a big book on my lap and write there.

I find a certain sameness in surroundings helps me concentrate on the story. Mind you, I might well be writing boring stories...
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Lol, I'm sure you're not.

I wonder if our body needs to feel completely at home before our creative brain-cells will come out to play.
(no subject) - coneycat - Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - coneycat - Sep. 24th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 24th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - coneycat - Sep. 24th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 24th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
I think inspiration strikes wherever it wants, but (to me at least) the actual writing seems to require a definite workplace.

Thanks for sharing :)

What was your novel about?

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(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 24th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
I write: feet on couch, laptop on knees, dog at side.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Just don't get them mixed up, otherwise it'll get confusing ;)
(no subject) - ex_camillea - Sep. 24th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
I think walking is such a help when it comes to setting things straight in your mind. If you get one of those running machine things you could a perennial problem solver, right there in your home :)

Thanks for sharing :)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Like bogwitch I write on a laptop that does not connect to the Internet. Like Jane Austen, I most often write at the dining room table. I do have a desk where I keep notes on projects and other written material, but it has gotten too full of other crap to have room for me to write. I'm pretty much blotting out my surroundings, to it's not usually a problem to be in the dining room unless my husband is watching football and insists I have to see a specific play.

Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that internet thing can be a distraction.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
Anywhere that isn't here in my office where I do "work stuff." Before I got my laptop, I bought a Neo alphasmart keyboard that I could take anywhere and it absolutely helped to be able to get out of here!!!! Now I use my laptop in other rooms, but will likely still use my Neo keyboard from time to time. (ps-my writing ban ends today! whehew!)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
That Neo keyboard sounds like a clever idea.

Now, back to work, you ;)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
My preferred location would be anywhere where other people are not ;)

With that said, I end up doing a lot of my writing at work when it's slow. It's not that I prefer to write there, but if free time comes up, I'll take it. It's kind of aggravating because I sit in a high-traffic area and there are usually frequent interruptions.

At home, I have an office with a desk, but half the time I'll end up moving the laptop to the kitchen table or the couch.

One of my GSHW friends says he does his best writing at the local cemetery
Heheh, that's awesome. Must be peaceful there.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
I guess, though it must be embarrassing when you have an epiphany. Imagine leaping to your feet, punching the air and yelling 'Yes!" just as the funeral procession walks by :)
(no subject) - mongrelheart - Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
I write nearly all my first drafts longhand in a notebook. I prefer to work at the kitchen table, the patio table, or in a coffeeshop. Once I start typing up the first draft and redrafting, I either work at my desk upstairs (on a computer not connected to the internet) or at the kitchen table on the laptop. It is a very rare thing for me to write the first draft on the computer.

Edited at 2009-09-23 06:33 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
That's interesting. I jot down ideas for scenes etc, but I'd find it really hard to write a story longhand. Of course it doesn't help that my writing is awful - I think I must have been a doctor in a past life.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
I think what you said about sameness, our bodies being at home, probably helps us relax more quickly into the creative mode, and if we establish a place for a certain activity, I'd imagine our brain might shift faster. My favorite place is alone in my living room, feet up, with my laptop, but I get much of my writing done in the car, when I'm waiting for the kids to finish activities (sometimes I leave early just to have that solitary time). I wonder how many people write in cars?
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Definitely me. I'd say I spend an average of about an hour a day writing in the car park.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
I find that I do get more creative when I sit in my 'work spot' at home, which is on the short couch, watching a movie I've seen a hundred time before - something I can tune out. If I don't have the visual distraction, I can't seem to focus for some reason.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. Sometimes, just staring into space isn't enough.

thanks for sharing :)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
I have a desk. It's where I sit and write, mostly. But the reality is, I can (and sometimes do) write anywhere. But mostly at my desk. With music on, because a little music in the background acts as pleasing white noise to cut back on the other distractions.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Isn't it strange how complete silence is actually a little distracting?
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Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

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No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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