Most of us have to write for our jobs, so figuring out your most conducive writing location makes sense. Your physical location affects your mental state. It establishes the atmosphere in which your work is done -- an atmosphere that either helps your writing process or hinders you.
The right place may be quite different for you and someone else. Some people need quiet when they write. Some need music. Some need isolation while others write best surrounded by people. Think about what works for you and identify locations before a writing project is staring you in the face. You’ll save time and wind up with a better end product.
Be prepared for writing
Of course, before you start any writing project you’ll do your prep work:
- Confirm the basics like deadlines, objectives, messages and other expectations
- Learn about your audience
- Pull together resource materials and maybe create an outline
- Put writing time on your calendar
How do you like to write?
- By hand? Typewriter? If you like these old-school methods, be sure you have the paper, ribbons, pens/pencils, and correction fluid you need.
- Computer? You’ll want access to digital resources and the Internet. At some point you could need a printer.
If you’re a computer writer with only a desktop system, you’re likely tied to your work space for writing. Take measures to set the right atmosphere:
- Close the door if you have one, or hang a “Do not disturb” sign
- Silence your phones
- Play music if this helps (Earphones keep music from bothering co-workers.)
- Clear off your desk, close the blinds, do whatever you need to make your setting conducive
- Have beverages and snacks handy
Find your write place
With a laptop (or pen and paper) you’re free to move around. Great! A change of environment can stimulate thinking.
Here are possibilities that could work:
- Conference rooms – Chances are a conference room will be quieter and less interruption-prone than your office or cubicle. Can you reserve one?
- Reception area – Can you work there and not get in trouble?
- Break room, lunch room, cafeteria – These are noisy and busy at peak times but might offer a good change of scene in off hours.
- Building common spaces – Some buildings have seating in random areas and even conference rooms you can use.
- Parks – Some people write better in the great outdoors. If you’re one of them, look for places close to your office or home.
- Coffee shops – These can be noisy but maybe that works for you. If so, look for ones that are convenient but not likely to be frequented by people you know. (Better to avoid even friendly interruptions.)
- Libraries – These are definitely quiet and are good spots for those who work best with no noise. Check out convenient ones and note the seating options. Many have couches and armchairs as well as chairs and work tables.
- Home – This works well for some but can be full of distractions. Where at home will you work? Is there a desk or table to use or are you better working on your couch or favorite chair? Will you be free of pets, kids and other distractions?
Once you start looking around you may think of other possibilities – a vacant office, a patio, a lounge. Every business has its own places to consider. When you’re scoping out locations look for electrical outlets. If there’s no power available, you’ll be limited by your battery life if you're on a laptop.
For times when the writing is beyond you, call in a pro, a freelance writer like me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org