Awoke this morning flummoxed regarding this week’s post. Oh, I had a few ideas, but no more than notes and scratches—no concrete topic I yearned to pursue. I paced while downing my two cups of coffee allotment, sat down, typed a few words, rose, and paced some more.
As often happens on non-work days, I packed up my laptop and drove to the park a few miles from home. There I paced some more, my mind a whirlwind of incomplete thoughts, ideas, questions without answers. I returned to the car and turned on my laptop.
The words began to appear, hesitant at first, then more rapidly like a car shifting into second gear. I breezed through the first paragraph, moved to the second, now cruising at higher speeds: I had a topic.
Finding the perfect place to write—both physically and mentally—is essential to a writer.
Before the advent of computers, Isaac Asimov had several typewriters around his office, each with paper loaded and each in various stages of a different project. I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Asimov, an extremely prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, understood that the human mind is easily bored. To combat this natural tendency, he allowed his subconscious to work on many projects at once, and the typewriters loaded with paper were tools that opened his thinking and kept the creative juices flowing—he had his physical place, and thereby, his mental place.
As to the physical place where you, as a writer, are comfortable to create, the place (like Asimov’s typewriters) can change depending on the level of solitude you need. I can be easily distracted when writing. Dogs barking in the background can jerk my mind from the words in front of me as completely as my cat walking across the keyboard; then again, sometimes I can create with a cacophony of sound pounding all around me—it just depends. The important thing is to find your “place” where the creation can begin and continue unhampered.
Whether on a notebook in a coffee shop (if you can handle the outside noises vying for the inner thoughts) or at your kitchen table, comfort is the key. Writing is hard enough, so finding your place at any given moment makes the difference. Search for that place where you are free to let your mind—and fingers—work, wherever that may be.
At different times I have written in a restaurant, at a nightclub with music surging in the background, under a tree in my front yard, on the beach, pretty much wherever I am when the urge to write beckons me. But when it comes down to polishing, don’t be fooled—you must have solitude. This place (or places) will be your refuge, the place where you can concentrate and do your best work. Today, for me, that place is the park.
Please leave a comment to let your fellow writers know how you found your place, and how the special place that is yours alone helps you create that which only you can create. And if so inclined, add a picture of your special place.
Now, go write,
This Week’s Quote:
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth