Want to figure out how to write better? Find a “happy place” that puts you in a writing mood.
The thought of writing from anywhere has a strong pull. Writing from a beach. Writing from a hotel room. Writing from your couch. I've written from all these places. As nice as it is to be able to take my laptop with me and write no matter where I am, the reality is that sometimes I really need a designated “happy place” if I'm going to write.
That, above, is me in my home office. One of the realities I've discovered in my quest to figure out how to write better is that when I'm working, it helps to be sitting at my table in my home office. My home office is set up to inspire me to work. I've got natural light coming in from the window (and sometimes I see hummingbirds in the bushes outside). I've got a vanity wall full of awards and degrees. I've got my The Dark Knight Rises calendar and a cork board. All of these things get me in a working mood.
It's true that sometimes I work upstairs on the couch when my husband is grading papers at home. But I've noticed that the work isn't as good.
Writing for Fun: Get Away from the Home Office
Just because my home office helps me write better for work doesn't mean that it's my permanent happy place for all writing. In fact, when I make my attempts at fiction (no, you can't read it; it's horrible), I like to be somewhere else. I like sitting outside, or sitting on my big round chair. It helps me relax and it brings me out of “business mode.”
I also didn't like writing my forthcoming book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, on my computer downstairs. While the book is (I hope) useful, I didn't want it to be business-like and dry. I wanted it to be kind of fun. So I wrote it on the couch, and up at my parents' house, and pretty much all over the place with my laptop. Anyplace I felt relaxed was a happy place for me to write.
Decide Where You Work Best
Sometimes, there's no help for it: You have to write somewhere that isn't particularly inspiring. When you travel, or if you don't have a home office, or if you just haven't found your “happy place” yet, you might have to suck it up and just write from where you are.
But that doesn't mean you should try to find a good place to write. Pay attention to how you feel when you write in different locations. Learn your own self, and what works best for you. Learning how to write better involves looking into yourself, and understanding the way you work best.
If you are looking for more productivity, set up a workspace that limits distractions and provides you with an environment geared toward getting things done. If you want more creativity, or if you crave some degree of social interaction, find a less conventional set up — which can include heading to the local coffee shop.
What do you think? Do you like to have a “happy place” when you write? What is your happy place?