Right Spaces and Proper Places: The Importance of Knowing Where and When to Write

One of the things about writers is that they’re not always in the mood to write, because of little details under specific circumstance. It’s frustrating when you’re walking around and getting all these brilliant ideas to write down, just to have them all melt into the air when you finally get home and sit down to write. It may be because suddenly your location has changed and your environment has shifted. It may be because your house is not exactly conducive for writing. It may be one of many things, but all you can think about is how such a brilliant idea of yours has disappeared, and that you are unable to work on it again. It will be replaced by another brilliant idea, perhaps, something that comes to you while you’re walking, or watching other people, or doing various other things, and then it might disappear again. A vicious cycle, certainly.

This kind of situation – something that frustrates just about any writer – is the reason why it’s important to be aware of the kind of writer you are when it comes to writing in certain locations. No one can tell you where you can write effectively – only you know where and what kind of situation you must be in for you to be able to write effectively. It’s always reasonable to try out a lot of places – bring your notebook around, and write your ideas, or verses, wherever. It may be the park, or your favorite cafe. A restaurant in a mall, or somewhere in your school campus. It may even be at home, perhaps, or in your car. Whatever the case, it’s important to know where.

However – and this is also valuable to understand – you won’t always be comfortable writing in the same old places all the time. One coffee shop, for example, may be a good place for you to write your verses, but when you come down there to write your short story, it suddenly becomes off. The music grates, the smell of coffee makes you uneasy, and the quiet chatter of other customers might jar your head more than a little. So you set off, and find perhaps another coffee shop, or an entirely different place for you to write. And no one can tell you, I repeat – you’ll be the only one who’ll be able to understand that a certain situation is good enough to make you write. Sometimes, it’s not even a question of where but a question of when. Small details like the weather and what time of the day it is  all contribute to your writing mood.

So what can you do about it? Don’t fight the feeling, but rather be prepared for flashes of creativity. Bring a notebook, or a laptop, that you can access immediately to pin down ideas. That should keep you going, even if the verses aren’t full or the story is not complete. But the important thing is that you don’t use the place and the time as an excuse not to write, as not trying to write at all is much worse than writing something you’re not satisfied with.

So go around, look for the right place, and be prepared. You’ll eventually get in the zone and write down that brilliant piece.


Jillian is an English Literature graduate who loves reading science fiction and fantasy, and is a big fan of J.G. Ballard. She is obsessed with coffee, video games, and rottweilers, and keeps herself busy by writing and walking around a lot. She's currently reading Jeanette Winterson and a lot of YA literature.

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