I love watching people. I’m fascinated by them.
That’s why I can’t write in public. I’ve tried. I love coffee shops and college libraries, but I get distracted and don’t reach my word count. If I’m collecting characteristics for personality types, fine. If I’m writing a rough draft, nope.
I like to write in my office, a corner of our bonus room. I have a desk and a double window to see what’s happening in our yard. I can begin in my pajamas after throwing a load of laundry in, multi-tasking.
Sometimes, however, I have to write somewhere else. A few years ago while I wrote my third novel, we went on our annual vacation. I released myself from my usual word count. I decided to accept whatever I could write before breakfast as the day’s count. As long as I wrote something, I still moved toward my goal.
A funny thing happened. I wrote a ton before breakfast. Maybe I knew I had only an hour or so to work. Maybe it was the beautiful setting. Whatever it was, my creativity was stirred, and I produced work.
I’ve also noticed when I go away for a few days to write, I can produce a lot of words, too. I’ve attended writing retreats at the beach. With no family or household duties, I could focus only my writing.
I’ve spent time in the mountains with a writer friend.
We wrote in the morning, broke for lunch together, wrote in the afternoon, and then went out to dinner. I wrote a lot then, too. There’s something to be said for being in beautiful places and not having the normal pressures of keeping a house going.
Of course, I can’t go on vacations or retreats all the time, so I’ve learned sometimes I need a new view. I write in my office, yes. But I also move to my back porch and am stirred by the nature I see. I’ve also written in my front porch swing with my laptop.
A change of scenery is good for me, energizing me and fueling my imagination.
Where do you like to write?
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her publications include three novels as well as nonfiction articles. A member of ACFW, RWA, and SinC, she writes for SeriousWriter.com. She and her husband live in North Carolina and enjoy visits with their two daughters and twin sons.