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Get Away From The Desk

Get Away From The Desk

Now just where did I leave my inspiration?

Writing’s a solitary profession. Writing’s an indoor sport. We’ve all heard this before and while it holds a grain of truth, there’s always two sides to a story.

Anyone serious about writing should be able to knock out a few words wherever they are and make use of all that dead time we find ourselves in on a daily basis. There are times when getting away from the desk is the best thing that can happen to us, the thing that gets those blocked noggins working again.

1. Coffee anyone?

NaNo may be over but that doesn’t mean you have to stop speaking to or meeting with your local NaNo group. Get your laptop/tablet/pen and paper and get yourself down to a local write in. Drink coffee (too much coffee) and watch that pen burn holes in the paper. Those new friends you made in November could be the ones that give your rear the necessary boot when you’re ready to throw in the towel.

2. Talking to oneself in the great outdoors

As I mentioned last week, you don’t need to be chained to a desk to write (“But I can’t write unless I’m surrounded by my collection of surgical samples stored in formaldehyde.” Quiet you!) or even have the use of your arms (“Guess where the samples come from?” I said quiet!). There are so many smart phone applications for voice memos around these days or you could always invest in a standalone device. Many of them even transcribe for you with pretty good results.

3. Take the notebook somewhere new

I’ve lost track of the number of times a simple change of scenery has helped me knock the words loose. So I urge you, grab your notebook or your laptop and explore your city/town. Go somewhere you’ve never been before, find a spot, and just start writing.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever written and how did you fare? Please share.

9 thoughts on “Get Away From The Desk

  1. I have a clever little bluetooth keyboard for my iPad and during the summer (which in Minnesota means that the temperature is above -10F), I take it down my pond to write.

  2. I have set up on a blanket on the grass in my back garden and written. A neighbour I don’t know well struck up conversation and it turns out he was a paralympic medal winner, I had no idea. Our local cats do tend to hassle me if I stay out and roll on my paper and mark my typewriter.

    I reckon being willing to write in a variety of places helps with writers block. The tendency to only be ‘able’ to write when safe at ones desk is a bit of self fulfilling prophecy, the magic is in the writer not in the desk or the pen or the curious surgical samples floating in their silent, airless, glass hell, like the cursed spawn of a Hirst curse.

    • Don’t get me wrong there are places I find it easier to write, but there are also so many ‘dead minutes’ where I feel I could be more productive. NaNo taught me the importance of sneaking in all the writing time possible and squeezing out those words whenever you had a free moment.

  3. Aloha Chris,

    The strangest place would be a jury pool. I once sat for five days waiting for my turn to be interviewed for a murder trial jury. It was my civic duty and I was determined to do it. But I greatly resented the forced idleness.

    I decided to use the time to write – and write I did. I can get a lot of words down in five days with nothing pulling on me.

    However, the resentment wormed its way onto the page and the words got dark – too dark for the project I was working on. I didn’t use it.

    Maybe writing requires not only a scrap of time, but also a compatible situation.

    A Hui Hou (until next time),

    P.S. No, I wasn’t chosen for the jury.

  4. Weirdest place I’ve written? Just one? I write pretty much anywhere. Probably the most unexpected place was in the recovery room after surgery. I asked for my notebook and pen and got them (I don’t remember doing this) but never could read the scribbles I put down, lol.

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