Write It Sideways

4 Places to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Today’s post is written by Ashley Prince, a finalist in The First Ever Write It Sideways Blogging Contest. Welcome, Ashley!

One of the joys of writing is that you can do it anywhere. But just like picking a great place to meditate, get married, or raise a family, you have to pick somewhere that fits you and your style. What works for you may not work for someone else.

Luckily, there are many places to choose from. I’ve narrowed down my favorite places and each one has something different to contribute to my creativity. I tend to gravitate toward places that have people, but where noise is generally muted or kept at a relatively low level. I’m easily distracted, so the less shiny objects there are, the more I can actually concentrate on my writing.

1. Your Local Coffee Shop.

As cliché as this might sound, nothing invigorates me more than the smell of coffee. I tend to get my best writing done while sitting in a cozy chair in the corner of Starbucks. The combination of lighting, music, and smells is incredibly relaxing. Along with being able to nurse a venti white chocolate mocha, people are in and out all day and provide a great way to get inspiration for characters for your novel. Plus, nothing looks more important than an open laptop that you are furiously typing away on. You can pretend you are the next J.K. Rowling sans napkins.

2. Your Favorite Book Store.

While this might seem like an intimidating place to write, it can also be one of encouragement. Try sitting with your favorite book and write a mock interview with a minor character to get your creative juices flowing. If that doesn’t work for you, the biggest benefit of writing in a book store is the amount of resources available to you.  If you get in the mood for research or simply want to find some writing exercises, you have the entire store at your beck and call.

3. Your ‘Writing Cave’.

Similar to a man cave, a writing cave is a perfect place to escape the distractions and focus on what you love to do most. My ideal cave has my laptop, iPod, paper and pen when I want to write old school, caffeine, and a plethora of snacks. Create your perfect writing cave and surround yourself with what you want. Don’t overcrowd yourself with distractions. If you don’t want to be in the same “cave” every time, try making it portable by using a tote to carry all of your essentials.

4. A Setting From Your Novel.

Now this one might be a little difficult if your novel takes place on the surface of the moon in the year 2313 or even if it’s in a different country. But you can manipulate your surroundings to make it become your ideal setting. For example, if your novel takes place in New Orleans during the Jazz age, try downloading some music from that era and play it softly or as loudly as you want while you write.

So look for places that you naturally gravitate toward. Try thinking about where you get most of your ideas, themes, character profiles, and quotes from. Maybe it’s at the corner booth in a sports bar, a plush chair in the middle of a book store, or a particular bench that overlooks a lake. There has to be some reason why you constantly end up at these places. Let your inner muse steer you in the right direction.

What do you all think are the pros and cons of writing in these places? Where are some of your favorite places to write?

Ashley is a wife, a student, and a lover of life. Currently living in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, she spends most of her time writing. She has two blogs—Byron’s Curse, and Open Eyes and Open Minds. Writing is more than her hobby, it’s her passion.