I’ve been thinking lately about writing. Not about the how, nor even about the why, but about the where. The where matters. Well, to me, at least, it matters. It matters a great deal.
Now, look, I’ve talked before about my…uhh…questionable writing habits. Talked especially about the fact that I write best and most in coffee houses and taprooms. I am, I should probably add, a creature of habit. While I can — and do! — walk into any coffee place, brewery or bar and start banging away on my keyboard, I very much tend to go to the same places, at the same times, and do the same things when I write.
I’m pretty damned sure I’m not alone in having friends and acquaintances come up to me and say, “Writing must be so cool! You can sit at home and work whenever and however you want!”
Umm…no. Not even freaking close.
If I stay at home and try to write, both I and my story are fucked. Oh, I can sit down and start trying to work…but, well, home is not for work. Home is for distractions. Whether I end up with the cleanest shelves in Colorado, or a record-breaking winning streak in Football Manager, I will pretty much end the day with anything and everything but actual…you know…writing.
And, no, I do not need you to tell me that I’m weird. I can do that just fine on my own, thank you very much.
I wish to hell I could write at home. Life would be much simpler if I could stay at home and work. Unfortunately, even if I somehow could manage to resist the lure of Formula 409 and my current Reading FC save, whatever words I manage to turn out are…flat. Lifeless. Boring.*
*None of those things, in case you were wondering, are good when describing written stories…
Okay, look, I do admit that writing just steps away from a limitless supply of beer does help in the creative process — ahem — but that is not, believe it or not, the reason why I love taprooms. Nope. It’s counterintuitive as hell, but I need the noise and chaos and distraction that comes with a busy place. More than that, I need the energy that comes with all that…I need the life.
Even when I lock myself away behind my earbuds and far-too-loud music, I need that taproom, and all the people in it.
Living up in the mountains, then, is a mistake for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love the quiet, and being surrounded by the Rockies, but…
…but it ain’t helpin’ me to write.
It is, in fact, hurting me.
Hell, I can barely bang out 600-word blog posts at this point, let alone plan and write a 125,000-word novel…
Drinking beer and writing in the midst of dozens — hundreds, even — of folks is one thing…but when you do the same thing at home alone?
Err, yeah — All Aboard indeed…
So my question and challenge and thought to all the other writers out there is this: where do you work? What crazy, unexpected, weird place helps you to really write?