Lyla Campbell

In real estate, location can do wonders for property value. But can location do the same for your writing? Not where your story takes place, but where you park yourself to do your writing.

This was a phenomenon I began to notice in college and it continued to hold true for my writing during both the '08 and '09 NaNoWriMo. Where I am can make a difference in how productive I am. There are certain places inside my house that are more productive writing locations than others. The three best are 1) At my kitchen table, 2) On my front porch and 3) Sitting on my bed. Note that the living room couch is not on that list. That's where the TV is. If I'm in front of a TV for any significant amount of time, it's inevitable that I will turn that TV on. And of course, if the TV is on, the progress on my word count will grind to a halt. The same holds true with editing. If the TV is on, I'll get uber distracted only rewrite one or two sentences.

I have also discovered that if my work pace is slow, switching locations can do wonders for productivity as well. If the writing locations in my house are being stingy with sharing their creative juju, I'll venture out into the city. One of my many favorite writing locations here in Houston is Empire Cafe. Most importantly they have good coffee. Second, their food is excellent and reasonably priced. And finally the atmosphere in the dining room and on their patio provides an endless stream of inspiration. Thus creating a perfect writing location trifecta! The only down side to this place is the lack of electrical outlets. But if you have good battery life or are working from a hard copy (which I sometimes prefer for editing) access to modern comforts such as plugs are not a necessity. There's also some nostalgia attached to the Empire. Back in high school my friends and I would tell our parents we were going to Barns & Nobel, but instead drive in from the burbs to Empire just for the coffee...yes, the coffee is just that good.

So, at the end of the day, I may have packed up my laptop and notes and towed them with me to multiple different places. But at least I will have (maybe) made some progress.
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2 Responses
  1. Luke Says:

    Great post. I find it's easiest to write at work when I'm supposed to be doing other things. Integrity. Always integrity.

  2. I can neither confirm or deny that I have done the very same thing. One can't control when inspiration strikes.

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