Changing your writing atmosphere

Since writing, even non-fiction writing, is an extremely creative process, the environment in which you write is crucial. Creativity requires surroundings that are free of distraction so that you can relax, stimulate your mind, and think clearly. If you find that you have a lack of motivation to get your work done, or if you are constantly distracted, you may need to get into a different atmosphere.

I have struggled with this at home, since I live in a small apartment with my husband. With very limited space, it is hard to maintain a consistent “office” environment. While I do have space to work, the distraction of being home sometimes overwhelms me. When I start to think about household chores, television, video games, and the plethora of other things to do during the day, my environment just doesn’t help.

Sometimes I rearrange the furniture or work in another room. This is a temporary solution, however, because it does not work everyday. This might be enough if you have a full home office to use, but I have to share what little space I have with my husband, and  I have to move my writing station in order to exercise. The inconsistency can make it difficult to focus.

Getting out of the apartment works quite well for me. I will go to a café with free wifi, or a library. I am able to sit down and get right to work without a second thought. That simple change in atmosphere takes everything but writing off of my mind. Once I feel that I have accomplished what I set my mind to do, I can go back home and do some of those other things that would have prevented me from getting my work done.

It is important to have a consistent place to do your writing, because your mind will naturally go into working mode. On the other hand, surroundings can get a little too familiar, and this can either bore or distract you. Change your writing environment every once in a while to keep things fresh. Here are some places you can go:

  • bookstore
  • Café/coffee shop
  • library
  • outside (park, beach, back yard, porch, deck)
  • college campus
  • wifi hot spot/internet café

Where do you go when you need to write, but don’t want to stay home?

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good ideas, and very true. It’s a huge problem that has caused a massive amount of friction between myself and my girlfriend since I am shifting towards a writing oriented career. Another part of the problem, is that those who do not write, or work online, seem to view the time you spend on writing as “Playing on the computer” and thus have little respect for it.

    • Thanks for your comment. I have had a similar experience with others simply not understanding the hard work that is actually involved in a writing career that happens to be run from home. Support from other people who work from home, particularly from other freelance writers is invaluable. Sometimes explaining what the job entails to those who have a job outside the home falls on deaf ears. Money is sometimes the only thing that will talk, and if the money isn’t as consistent as a 9-5 job, some people will simply be unconvinced that you are working hard. If you have a passion for writing and a good plan that will produce results, you will be happy and fulfilled as your career grows.

  2. As a bad writer I often get distracted and find that it takes me an age to get anything done. Cutting down on distractions definately helps thought. Thanks for the handy tips. Paul – http://1daylater.com – activity tracking for freelancers

  3. Unfortunately I’m limited to an office but I often create a state of mind where I can really crack on writing. luckily my face changes and peopl know not to interupt me when i’m in the zone! Sound reducing headphones help.


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