Monday, October 3, 2016

#WWoW! Author's Life: Writing Environments #AmWriting Away From Home

Despite craving routine and structure in my daily life, my writing life is quite different. Without a change to my environment every so often, my writing productivity declines over time. Shaking up the routine helps maintain my productivity. Sometimes getting away and being in a new environment can be good for an author. Most days, I write from my home office that overlooks my gardens. The solitude and absolute quiet keep me focused and calm. But every once in awhile, I'll write at a local coffee shop or bookstore if I need a change of scenery. The energy and external stimuli will often give me a needed boost. Most of the time, I can overcome that dreaded writer's block simply by moving locations.

The ultimate change of scenery comes once-a-year when I travel with my husband. Since he travels weekly for business, I choose an interesting place and convenient week to get away. While he works during the day, I write from the hotel or a local coffee shop. With a new environment inevitably comes rejuvenation. Even though it's not a vacation, we use the evenings to explore and just be tourists. The time away is wonderful - both for quality time with my husband and my writing.

Being in a completely new environment lends unfettered focus to a particular writing project. Last week, I was in Bangor, Maine. (The book I am working on -Finding Home- is set in Maine.) I adore Maine but had never been as far north as Bangor so I soaked in the sites. And was inspired. My word count doubled, and the words were good. You know what I mean... rather than erasing half, nearly all made the final cut in the story before it went on to editing.

Writing in different environments works for me but it isn't the case for every writer. It can also depend on the stage of writing. Personally, I find different locations suited to different stages of my writing process. Outlining (I use this word loosely) a story, writing a first draft, proofreading, editing, and polishing the final draft each take varying levels of concentration. The solitude of my home office or a hotel room provide distinctly different environments than the bustle of a coffee shop or bookstore. Knowing where I do my best work ultimately keeps me more productive.

AUTHORS: What type of writing environment do you flourish in?
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