Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where Do You Write?

(My political science prompt just came in through email, and it thoroughly depresses me.  I consider myself a good essay writer, and I seriously have no idea how to approach this question. Looks like it's time to cry uncontrollably to reasonably ask for help from the TA.)

Lin Wang started this week's blog chain off with this excellent question.  Her post is here.

For many writers, including myself, the location we choose to write is an important ingredient to the actual writing.  Theoretically, I can write wherever I can pop a squat with my laptop, but I know the final product is not as good depending on where I am.  Feng shui, I guess you could say.

I read Lin's post, and I figure probably a lot of people enjoy writing with their favorite books beside them for inspiration.  That is a huge no-no for me.  Firstly, when I read stuff, my writing instantly becomes directly affected by the style and tone, sometimes diverging from the original voice.  More importantly, I get easily distracted when I have books around--I start reading instead of writing.

I like writing in public.  In fact, I actually write pretty terribly at home (dorm room included in definition of home).  I don't mind background noise.  My most productive periods are when I take my laptop somewhere else.  My favorite spots are coffee shops and libraries, a change of scenery if you will.  When I write, I prefer having windows, but the coffee shop I do most of my work in is window-less, so it's not a huge deal.  Nature is inspirational to me.  However.  Writing outside is impossible.  I can't do it.  I have irrational fears about bugs crawling all over my laptop, and weather and humidity probably don't help out either.  I love being outside, and I love writing.  I can't do both at the same time.

One potential thing I would like to try is writing in an airport.  Maybe in an airport coffee shop. That would be a great place.  This is kind of strange, but I honestly believe the smell of coffee helps me write.  I drink coffee on occasion, but it's the smell that does it.  Coffee shops just smell wonderful!  I also love the smell of libraries.  I feel safer and calmer when I walk into one.

My ideal writing place would be a coffee shop located at least several floors above ground in a big city (preferably New York, Chi-Town, Seattle, or DC) in a corner by a huge glass window on a rainy day. Rainy days are the best for writing.  Don't you agree?

Sorry this is so late in the day.  I was being a responsible citizen and watching President Obama's 100th Day Press Conference.  :-)

Later in the week:

1 comment:

  1. I love keeping books beside me, mostly because they are what inspired me to write. (After all, I set out to try and write the type of book I want to read.) But I can totally see your point about distractions...

    I love writing in libraries too, though I get a bit too self-conscious in coffee shops. The environment feels a bit too intimate, and it seems that everybody is watching you.

    Love your ideal writing space! I love cuddling in my room to write on a rainy day; good thing there is so much rain in Vancouver.