Where do you write? Do you create in a notebook on the edge of your kitchen counter, or on a computer in a quiet corner? Do you write at home, or do you seek out a coffee shop, library or other public space? I usually write in my living room, or a coffee shop, feeling a deep jealousy of those who have already carved out the perfect space for their writing. I also spend time chanting my personal mantra “I will not run away from home to live in the forest and write.” (Running away to the forest is my go-to solution for bad days…its not just for manifesto-writing nut jobs anymore!)
But instead of in my living room or a coffee shop, this week inspiration struck while I was driving. Normally I write pros, and inspiration while driving would be impossible to capture. But this time, the gods of inspiration surprised me with a serenade. The words popping into my mind did so in the short bursts of verse and chorus. So, while driving was an inconvenient time to be inspired, capturing the moment was as easy as pulling over and scribbling in my notebook and singing into my cell phone’s recording device every few blocks.
Then, once I got home, I sat down and pieced the sections together until they made sense. And while the song may not be a thing of genius (being the first one I ever completed), I was excited by this new writing experience, and I resolved to stop thinking bitter jealous thoughts about people with writing retreats. (For now.)
While inspiration can strike anywhere, I’m a big believer in carving out a space to be creative, so try making yourself a writing station. Pick a place in your home and set it up with everything you need to be your creative self, and let your inspiration flow.
- Supply your writing station with the tools of your trade – If you write in a notepad with a pen, make sure your space always has a pad and pen ready for your use. If you use a computer, make sure your space has a power outlet, and a flat surface to balance your machine on.
- Light the space well for writing – Even though most writers suffer for the art, squinting your way to a headache isn’t productive.
- Include inspiration pieces – Whether writing about a historical figure, a magical kingdom or the sociopath next door, I usually have a few “things” nearby that inspire that story. A photograph, a piece of music, a bloody knife (ok maybe not the knife), but you get the picture, “things” can be powerful talismans for our inspiration.
Can’t carve out a permenant space for your writing? Good news, your station can be portable. Get a sturdy Rubbermaid box and fill it with everything you need. Then when inspiration strikes, or your designated writing time comes around, pull out your box and get writing.
Once you have your wriring space set up, reward yourself with twenty minutes of writing.