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  • P. Barrera

Where Do You Write?

by ARHuelsenbeck (originally posted on

I am blessed to have my own writing room. It’s my daughters’ former bedroom, outfitted with a desk, a dresser, two overfilled bookcases, two stuffed file cabinets, 3 stacks of TBR books, and 12 banker’s boxes of miscellany I need to find places for. I can generally be found there daily from noon to 4 pm, supposedly doing writing-related stuff.

Of course, there are myriad of distractions inherent in working at home. Sometimes I need a change of scene in order to get quality writing done.

I’ve gone to the library for some uninterrupted writing time (because my husband is retired and doesn’t always respect my need not to be interrupted). Of course, there are distractions there, too. Caverns of books I haven’t read and movies I haven’t seen. A coffee shop. A Friends of the Library book store. But if I head straight for a study carrel and don’t move for four hours, I can usually put lots of words on my laptop.

Sometimes I meet writer friends at a coffee shop where, after a few minutes of conversation and the company of a steamy mocha latte, we get down to work. I’m always surprised how productive these sessions are. Maybe we inspire each other to focus and get lost in our work.

Sometimes I get my best work done while I’m walking in the neighborhood by myself. I bring a notebook and a pen, and write myself questions about plot problems, and brainstorm possible solutions. I’ve done poetry walks where I jot down observations that later grow into poems. Moving somehow opens up a creativity portal.

We writers need to recognize when we’re in a rut and change our modus operandi to jumpstart our inspiration. If you can’t make progress at the dining room table, go sit by the community pool. If you can’t concentrate at Starbucks, try the park. If you’re waiting for an uninterrupted block of time that never comes, get up 15 minutes early and make that your writing appointment time, even if you have to write in the bathroom.

What about you? Where do you write? Does it help you to have the consistency of a certain time and place? Do you keep pencil and paper or your phone with you at all times so that you can jot notes whenever and wherever the muse appears? Or do you use standing-in-line moments or commuting time to write? Share your answers in the comments below.

Guest post contributed by ARHuelsenbeck. Former elementary general music teacher ARHuelsenbeck blogs about the arts and the creative process at ARHtistic License. She is currently writing a YA mystical fantasy and a Bible study guide, and submitting a poetry chapbook, with mystery and MG drafts waiting in the wings. You can follow her on Twitter, and see some of her artwork, photography, and quilts on Instagram.

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