Friday, February 15, 2019

Writing Tip: You Don't Need the Perfect Writing Space

Many writers focus on creating the perfect environment for writing.  They seek to have the perfect office space, the perfect desk, the perfect lighting, and the perfect sounds.  They seek calming sounds and the perfect place for creativity.  Some want a writer's nook in a quiet upstairs place away from the hustle and bustle of the family room.  Some want a writing shack in the backyard or on a mountain top.  For those who achieve this perfect writers nook upon a hill, it can help.  But, for many of us the "perfect writing space" can be a colossal excuse.

When you don't have the perfect writing space, you can say many things:
  • I can't write because its too noisy.
  • I can't write because its too cluttered.
  • I can't write because there are too many people around.
  • I can't write because this chair is uncomfortable.
All of these things that you can say are simply excuses for not writing.  Writing is about inspiration and perspiration.  Many writers work for years to create the perfect place to write and, when they get there and turn on their computer, they still find themselves staring at the very same blank screen that you do.

You might find it more productive to focus on being prepared to write anywhere and anytime.  When I wrote my first novel, Zombie Complex, I wrote it in a couple of apartments that were quite simply substandard.  When I wrote about intrusive curry smells, cigarette smoke, annoying neighbors, and the like, all of those distractions were intruding into my writing environment.  I took all the anger and frustration that my substandard environment caused and incorporated it into my novel.  I think that all of these things and more made my characters more real.  English teachers and writing instructors tell us to "write what we know" and I know when my neighbors are cooking curry.  Most readers and reviewers agreed, but a few couldn't handle my truth.

Since my environment for writing was never perfect, I adapted to writing in any environment where I had time to write.  I used a desktop computer, a laptop, pen and paper, and even my cellphone when I wrote.  When I used to write for an online article publishing company,  I also used an AlphaSmart word processor.  Today, I have added a lightweight Chromebook to my arsenal of writing tools.  I have used these tools to write articles, short stories, or even book chapters, while waiting for an oil change at an auto service center.  You can leverage the portability of writing devices to make more power and authenticity into your prose.  For example, you can actually go to the place you are writing about and incorporate what you see, hear, and smell there into your work.

Since you probably have everything you need to write at any time and in any space, it's time to take the "writing space" off of your excuse list.  You can write anywhere.  Get cracking!

1 comment:

  1. I used to work in a call center, and I wrote several of my novels while helping people reset their phones. You are absolutely correct about not needing a perfect space.


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