Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Where do you like to write?

When summer weather finally arrives (and it was really late this year up here in Ontario), most of us like to move outdoors as much as possible. After all, there really aren’t enough days to take advantage of enjoying life al fresco.

As writers, we’re often chained to our computers in a cold, dark garret, but why put up with that when the weather is glorious? Since I’m a “power computer user”, I don’t have the luxury of a laptop, much as I’d like to have one. My wife has one, though, and if I can pry it out of her grasping hands, there is nothing more luxurious than sitting outside by the water garden, listening to the sound of our little waterfall, birds — and all the emergency vehicles and buses careening up and down the nearby north/south street — those last sounds I try to filter out — as I type away merrily.

All this brings me to a question: where do TypeM readers like to do their writing? I’m sure some need the quiet and minimal distractiveness* of their cold, dark garret, but I’m equally certain that others often go walkabout when the writing bug bites and you find yourself with a few hours to indulge your passion — or do your work if one of those very fortunate full-timers.

Our family used to go out camping when the boys were younger, often to Flowerpot Island just off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Lake Huron. Not only is there no power, but once the tour boats stop running at night, you’re out there alone (along with anyone on one of the five other campsites).

It was there I discovered the joy of writing fiction in longhand. When breakfast was done and cleaned up, I’d go off someplace comfortable, quite often using a bench down near the boat dock, and work for several, exceptionally enjoyable hours while my wife read and the kids swam, caught crayfish and minnows or observed the snakes that sun themselves on larger rocks just off the cobble beach. Nobody would even miss me and I could escape to fictionland for a few blessed hours, writing about murder and mayhem in the music world. Ah! The pure indulgence of it was bliss.

So, where do you folks like to indulge your writing passion when summer (or any season) unlocks the shackles, binding you to your lonely, little desk?


*This distinctive new word is Copyright 2009 by Rick Blechta. All rights reserved. Please contact the copyright owner for unique licensing opportunities that are now available.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sometimes the house is too distracting, so I'll take my laptop to the library or coffeeshop.

Since I'm a mom, I've also written at roller skating rinks, parks, indoor playgrounds, etc.

Mystery Writing is Murder

LABANAN said...

Here in Nova Scotia it has been raining for about a month. So it has been writing inside in my office but I can see the world out there. I like to write in one spot however - I'm too easily distracted by the natural or unatural world. I can see the garden but I use that to urge myself to do my time so I can be properly in it when I'm done - down on my knees picking weeds and grubs or cleaning out the chicken coop or maybe in one of the canoes or rowboats.

Vicki Delany said...

Very timely question as I have just been driven indoors by the cold, cold weather. In the summer I always take my laptop out onto the deck. I really do think I do my best writing out there. But this summer has been so cold here in Ontario... I have an office in my house, but I rarely do creativing writing at my desk. The desk is for work, like promotional stuff, or browsing the Internet. I signal a switch to creative writing mode by moving the computer - to the deck in summer or the dining room table in winter.

Rick Blechta said...

I've heard that Charles does some of his best writing when he's waiting his turn to do yet another of his readings.



I can write anywhere, and have done so when the need arises. I perfer, however, to use one of my 2 or 3 preferred places because of the comfort level. I guess I'm like Pavlov's dog: put me in my writing space and I write.

On the other hand, put me in a cafe or some other place where people congregate, and I get distracted by the people. Unless an idea is just dying to be expressed.

Writing outdoors is just too distracting for me. Bless you folks who can do it!

Vicki Delany said...

This morning I am writing in bed. The upstairs of my house is stricly maintained as a no-computer zone. Meaning that it is a place for sleeping, reading and otherwise relaxing. Yesterday I pulled a muscle in my right leg so badly I can't use it at all. Fortunately my 85 year old mother is visiting and is now acting as nurse.

Corey Redekop said...

I pretty much cannot be in a comfort zone (i.e. home or someplace like it). I do some work in the basement, but the majority of my original first draft writing is at libraries, coffee shops, etc. I put in the earphones, blast whatever pops up first in the rotation, and go.

Rick Blechta said...

I can listen to music when I write — especially if it's instrumental or the singing is in a language I don't understand (which is most of them, come to think of it). I can't manage using headphones or ear buds, though. It's too intense and I wind up doing more listening than writing.

You must have terrific concentration, Corey!

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

Ack, Vicki, hope you recover quickly. And say Hi to your mom for me. (Her mom is amazing, for those of you who were wondering:-) I write at a desktop in my office when I get the house emptied of hubby and teens. I'm easily distracted, so find the routine conducive to writing, even though I could find a lovely spot outside.

Rick Blechta said...

How come no one has inquired about licensing "distractiveness"? It's a terrific word and I'm having a buy one/get one free sale this week only.

ACT NOW and avoid disappointment! Franchise opportunites are now available!