Last week I addressed Why Do You Write, but now I’d like to examine the Where and the When of Creative Writing. Who knows, but someday I may finish the Reporter’s Questions and blog about What and How, but not anytime too soon.
In some ways, the Where and When of writing may be simpler to address, seeing that they are more basic, more fundamental to the practical and everyday creative process. But simpler is not the same as simple, and in the end, Where and When we write touches on the Why.
Where Do You Write?
I remember an episode of Seinfeld where they talked about how Tolstoy wrote in the public square because the faces inspired him. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but most writers I know are too introverted to try to pull off something like that.
And yet, go to any coffee shop and what do you see? More laptops than scones! Next time you go to a coffee shop, think how the next great American novel may be under construction right there in front of you.
Nowadays a famous writer’s workspace can be seen online or in certain writing magazines. They are as interesting as houses of famous athletes, move stars, or musicians. Some are pristine and look like a museum piece and others appear excruciatingly lived in.
Anyone can write anywhere, but that does not mean that anyone can write anywhere. We have options, but they are not always the best ones for us. For example, I cannot write in a coffee house. I find it too distracting. Whereas some people would go buggy if they were cooped up in a home office. The point is, you need to have a place, a regular place, and use it.
When Do You Write?
Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, which means we each have 168 hours every week. No one has more time than another. And yet it seems some have all the time in the world and others are short sheeted. This all has to do with what you can show for how you spent your time, and so it is only an appearance of excess or diminutive time.
Productivity has nothing to do with how much time you have but how much time you make. (Tweet this comment)
We find time for the things precious to us. Often we find time for things unimportant as a way of avoiding something. A man may tell is wife I can’t go with you tonight because I have to balance the checkbook. It’s not that the bankbook is important, but avoiding time with his wife is.
We call ourselves writers, but don’t sit down and write. Is there not a clear problem with that? And why do we not write? Because there are so many things that need our attention first. There’s a Greek word for that, and it’s Baloney!
These are excuses we invent to avoid writing. This is just a different kind of writer’s block, but something I actually call writer’s avoidance.
Writers write every day because writing is important to us. (Tweet this comment)
Once you’ve nailed down the matter of Why you write, the questions about Where and When you write will settle themselves. Our purpose and intention shape our priorities, and from there, our habits.
What are your writing habits? Where do you write? When do you write? Maybe the question is do you write? I struggle with these just as much as ay writer. I hope you find this article valuable. If you do, then why not share it with other writers you know who are probably battling with these same things? They’ll thank you for it. Also, leave a Comment below and tell me what your writing struggles are.