Is it really the last day of March, already?
As usual, I had a hard time deciding on a topic, so I did what any lazy writer would do. I looked for inspiration in other blogs and found it in a few posts on writing spaces. So I first have to give credit to Brock Henning over at Lifesummit in his post Where is Your Writing Abode? Make sure you drop by, because his post is linked to a couple other blogs with interesting reads on the subject. I'm also lovin' Where Stories are Made… over at Book Chick City. Every week, they bring in guest authors to describe their writing spaces.
I've decided to approach writing spaces a little different in this post. I've included places, past and present, where I've found the most inspiration to write. Here are the top ten:
#10 - The Usual Places: Where better to begin than with the usual places I drag my computer around the house every day? Like right now, I'm on the couch, surrounded by snoring beagles, writing today's post. Whenever I stop in mid-sentence or paragraph, searching in my mind for just the right words, I scratch the nearest tummy and the answers comes to me. They're like little genies. In addition, I have an office I don't use because the desk is an old roll top that's way too uncomfortable. Instead I opt for the dining room table if I feel like sitting in a chair.
#9 - On Public Transportation: Ten years ago I lived in Colorado Springs half the week and Aurora, Colorado half the week. While in Aurora, I rode the bus into Downtown Denver, where I worked at the time. The commute was about an hour each way, and I was never without a notebook. Every morning I blabbered in the journl, added to my list of story ideas and wrote half a novel before I stopped riding on that route. So public transportation is good for more than the environment.
#8 - On a Long Car Trip: So you're wondering, how is this different than #9? While on a long car trip to Southern Colorado or Rocky Mountain National Park, I can edit my ass off. On public transportation, there are far too many distractions from fellow commuters, and I can't edit without mostly silent surroundings.
#7 - At Chuckie Cheese: Any place there are large numbers of screaming children, my ears tune out and my imagination takes over. So when my sons reached the age they could take off unsupervised at places like Chuckie Cheese or small amusement parks, I'd hand them a cup full of tokens, open the old notebook and write a new short story or add to a novel. This worked for everyone. They played for hours and I never killed anyone else's kid.
#6 - In the Middle of Downward Dog: Yes, I know you're supposed to clear your thoughts while doing yoga, but I can only do that for maybe two minutes at a time. It does help clear my mind of the insignificant crap quite well. So if I'm distracted and can't work through a scene, by the time I’ve stretched for twenty minutes, I’ve usually got it all figured out.
#5 - From a Jail Cell: Well, not in reality. Whenever I can't seem to find peace and quiet anywhere, the loner in me dreams of writing from a jail cell in solitary confinement. No Internet, no planning dinner, no vacuuming, and no teenagers not doing their homework. Ahhhhh :-)
#4 - With My Left (Less Dominant) Hand: Every now and then, when I don't feel I'm quite capturing the personality of an antagonist, I pull out a notebook and tell the character to write through my left hand. Oh, and I write backwards because it's just easier with my less dominant hand. Five years or so ago, I actually picked up a book in a new age shop that discussed using this technique as therapy. Since most antagonists could use a good therapist, I decided to let my bad guys talk to me using this method. The results are both scary and amazing. Or, maybe I'm also in need of a good therapist.
#3 - While People Watching: This one includes writing just about anywhere: coffee shops, libraries, park benches. I think C.J. hit on this one a few weeks ago. What better inspiration for characters than watching real people interact. Need a description for your bitchy character? Coffee shops are a great place to find 'em. The wimpy guy who just missed the bus might work well as your next victim, eaten by a monster down a dark alley.
#2 - In Bed; In My Head: Sometimes I wish I could turn a story off like I can turn off the television. I was up at 2:30 A.M. Tuesday morning because The Courier was playing the next part over and over in my head. If I haven't written anything new for a few days or can't work through a scene, I have no control over my thoughts. It's worse, at night, when there are no distractions. Good thing I'm a writer and not a serial murderer.
#1 - Walking the Dogs with a Hand Held Recorder: While I love a tranquil walk with the pups, they are beagles, and half our daily one-hour trek involves them sniffing for rabbits and me standing beside them thinking about story plots, character development and new ideas. So I can't leave the house without my hand held recorder. Last year, around this time, I wrote a novel in a month and most of it was written during our daily walks. Heck, I'm expecting to write most of the second Courier novel this way.
And so that it, folks, my favorite writing spaces. I'd love to hear about any of your out of the ordinary writing habits.