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Do you do find you have a best place to do your writing? In the movies, writers seem to live and work in places with beautiful homes (lighthouses, windmills...) overlooking a valley or the sea. I've never found that scenery did much for me, but I had one productive stint working with a co-writer in the concrete-walled basement of an optometrist's office.

Is there a location, or type of location, that makes you more productive?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Monica Cellio Jan 24 '16 at 3:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hi Duncan and welcome to Writers. I've put your question on hold temporarily because right now it's more of an opinion survey or discussion topic than an objectively answerable question. Instead of asking where people here like to write, maybe you could ask a question about where writers tend to write, asking for aggregate information rather than individual anecdotes. That might be the sort of thing that writers' groups have done surveys on, for instance. Or there may be studies about environmental effects on productivity. If you edit the question it will be reviewed for reopening. – Monica Cellio Jan 24 '16 at 3:40
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If you enjoy a beautiful view, then a place where there is a beautiful view is probably the WORST place to write, because you'd be constantly distracted.

Maybe for some people the right setting could help put you in the mood. I'm sure that wouldn't work for me.

I recall when I was in college a teacher once gave the advice to always study in the same place, because then you quickly get to know the place, and it's boring. If you work in some new and strange place, the moment you start getting bored or tired with the job you're going to look around and say, "Hey, what's that over there? ..."

Personally, I write sitting on the sofa in my library. It's comfortable, there's good light, and if I'm writing something that requires research, all my books are right there. Downside: there's a TV in the room, so if I get bored it's way too easy to say, hey, I'll just watch TV for a little bit.

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I think this question may be a good one. Perhaps the writer thinks that he doesn't have the proper writing space and that's why he has the block. In my opinion, any place and any tool that works is a good one. Piers Anthony used to write in a storage shed with a typewriter on a card table. I'd never feel comfortable there. I had long writer's block until I got an iPad. I do my first drafts on it because I like the freedom. I can stand up, lie or sit down. I can use any location because it fits in my purse.

There's no magic formula guaranteed to get you writing. Just keep moving around until something works for you. I firmly believe that writer's block can be caused simply because you're trying to write in an environment that doesn't work for you.

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It really depends on how your brain works, and because of that, everyone's solution will be different. It will probably even change from day to day.

Some days I like silence, but most days I like music. Some days I feel lonely and go to Starbucks (wishing for a more bohemian experience like when I lived in Portland!).

For me, exercise helps, TV doesn't. My brief stints of block are solved by doing chores and blogging. Computer and video games are a bad idea. If you prefer structure, you can set up a space where you live, decorate as you wish, and use it as an office. My imagination flows pretty freely: laptop on the kitchen table, coffee, and music in the background--and I'm usually good to go for four hours. But that's just me. I will now stop blogging and get back to work ...

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This question doesn't really have an answer and should probably be closed.

However, I'll give my own perspective on the role location can play in productivity. Movies rarely depict the life of a creative in a realistic light. Some people write in coffee shops or offices, sure, but I'd hazard to say just as many people end up doing their best writing while sitting on their couch in their underwear.

I don't think location is all that important so long as it's comfortable and you can maintain focus. So places that are loud or offer a wide variety of distractions are probably best avoided. Personally, I write pretty frequently sitting on the floor of my bathroom. No distractions, it's quiet, and it's not so comfortable that I feel the urge to take a nap.

  • I know what you mean—it is perhaps more a poll than a request for advice, and if people think it's not appropriate, I won't argue. I wonder, though, whether some kinds of workspaces objectively work better than others—dull locations with no distractions for example. – Duncan McKenzie Jan 23 '16 at 0:46
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Not really. I just write in my room or in my office. I'm pretty productive wherever I write. I've heard that changing the location where you write can change the way you write, but I haven't tried this out.

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