Where Do You Write?

I once wrote an entire novel on a commuter train from a western suburb of Illinois heading to downtown Chicago daily for a year and a half. It was a part of my morning ritual, as I commuted to work and then back again at the end of the day – Monday through Friday. There I sat, note pad in my lap, and pen in hand, breaking into prose before the train doors closed and the rails started clacking beneath me. It was easy to know what came next. Writers know this magic. It’s when you live with a story in your head. When you wake up with it in the morning, and go to sleep with ideas dancing in your dreams at night, waiting for the time when they can make their way to the page. It was my ritual and it worked. Within a year, I had 1200 unwieldy pages of…something that I didn’t have before – a finished novel. I loved the thrill of it. The motion of the train car, my ideas streaming as I wrote frantically across the page, in the margins, and sometimes past my stop. Now, that’s dedication!

My point is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Write where you work best and/or adapt to what you have to work with. In college I majored in – what else? Fiction Writing. The protocol was for all of us students to write on top of our laps (before laptops!) with a pen on a steno pad. That was it. Writing on command, in a very uncomfortable position, for hours at a time. We sat on hard folding chairs, which were arranged in a semi-circle, with the sides touching the chair next to yours. We were jammed in like jigsaw puzzle pieces made to write longhand for the four-hour duration of the class. Talk about boot camp! It seemed crazy then, but so does sitting at a computer for six to eight hours a day pounding out War and Peace. You just DO IT.

So, as to the question posed, where do YOU write? I would love to know. Tweet or FB me and tell me where you do your best work. For starters, I have compiled a list of some very inspiring places where you just might find your muse hiding. Why not give one or more of these a try – and let me know how it goes! You never know what magic waits…at the end of a long grocery line, or on a seat on the 5:10 westbound train.

Places to Find Inspiration:

  • A dog park
  • A sporting event
  • A birthday party
  • Church
  • The dentist’s office
  • The DVM
  • The grocery store
  • A bookstore
  • A fire drill
  • In the dressing room at Nordstrom’s
  • A polling booth
  • Beneath a hair dryer
  • A café
  • A concert
  • A library
  • A cemetery
  • On a train/cab/plane
  • A page in a magazine
  • An old movie
  • A TV sit-com
  • A stormy night
  • A sunny day
  • Christmas
  • Online
  • Off-road
  • Uptown
  • Home

Happy reading, writing, and reigniting the fire of inspiration in you!

~ Jamie

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