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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