Do you have a favorite place where you like to write?
Different writers have different preferences. Some like to write at home in complete silence; others prefer the hustle & bustle of a busy cafe. For some writers, any noise is a distraction; for others, a little “white noise” actually helps to minimize distraction.
Some writers have a home office set up where they have everything they need; others write on the go–on the train, at a bus stop, sitting on a park bench.
There’s no one single writing spot that is best for everyone…but that said, there are a few features that all good writing spots should have.
Here are the 5 most important elements in a writing place:
As a writer, you’re already acutely aware of how easy it is to get distracted when you’re trying to write.
So pick a writing spot with as little distraction as possible!
Keep in mind that different people have different distractions.
Some people (like me) get distracted when trying to write at home. It’s too easy to decide to check my emails, wash the dishes, or do a million other little chores around the house.
Other people get more distracted when they’re out in public. For them, it’s too hard to block out the noise and too easy to get sucked into conversation with nearby people.
So think for a minute about what distracts YOU most often…then make sure to choose a writing spot that helps you avoid that big distraction.
(Hint: if the Internet is a problem for you, check out an app called Freedom. It allows you to block internet access for a while, which can help minimize distraction when writing on a computer.)
Wherever you write, it should be a place that makes you feel inspired.
If you don’t feel inspired sitting on the couch, then try getting outside! Some writers like to get out in nature to write. Others prefer to write somewhere they can observe people.
Think about a place that gets your creative juices flowing…then find a way to write there.
#3: Comfort & Convenience
Writing a play requires you to spend hours and hours sitting on your butt typing.
So it stands to reason that you ought to find a place that is both convenient and comfortable.
If you write at home, invest in a decent desk and a comfy chair.
If you write at a cafe, find a favorite spot–near the fireplace?–and write there. Also, consider choosing a cafe that is either (1) close to home, or (2), on your way home from work.
#4: Noise Level
This ties in to #1, distraction. If you need a little white noise to concentrate, consider writing in public…or find some good instrumental music to play when you write. (Just remember, it should be background music; no lyrics.)
If you find noise to be a distraction, on the other hand, then you may prefer writing at home. Alternatively, you could invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. They can be pricey, but they do a fantastic job of cancelling out the noise around you so you can really focus on the words in front of you.
Finally, you need to write in a spot that is tech-friendly.
Sure, writing out in nature might inspire you…but what happens when your battery runs out?
(Or when it starts raining, for that matter?)
If you write with a laptop, you’ll probably need access to a power source. (It’s also really hard to see a laptop screen in the glare of the sun.)
Of course, you can minimize your reliance on power by choosing a lower-tech writing instrument…like pen and paper, or an old-fashioned typewriter, or a portable word processor (check out the AlphaSmart Neo 2 for a great writing tool with a battery life of over 700 hours).
OK, now that we’ve covered some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a writing spot, here is my favorite place to write a play:
* A balcony. Writing outside can be inspiring, but it’s not the most convenient place to write. But you can get the best of both worlds by finding a good porch or balcony to write on. That way you can look out at the trees while you type…but still have a roof over your head (if it’s a covered balcony) and access to a power outlet.
If you want more playwriting advice, tips, and hacks, make sure to check out the comprehensive PSH Playwriting Course.