Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

The “Write” Place

109 Comments

IMG_0557 (2)“The best place to write is in your head.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

I love coffee and I love to write, so why can’t I write in a coffee house? I’m envious of those writers who can hunker down in Starbucks for hours and write as they guzzle their piping hot coffee. These writers aren’t fazed by the conversations going on around them or people coming through the door.

I read somewhere that it’s hard to be creative in a quiet space. Apparently the mix of calm and commotion in an environment, like a coffee house, is just what our mind craves to get the creative juices flowing. The simple background noise creates enough distraction to heighten the imagination. If this is true, why am I driven to distraction by trying to listen to conversations or watching the door?

When I start a new story, I usually have a certain artist whose music I’ll listen to softly, as I write and it’s never a distraction. However, put me into a public setting with my laptop or a notebook and my head is on swivel. I can’t stay focused.

courseIn the spring and summer, I love to write on our back patio. The view of the lake makes for a relaxed atmosphere despite the occasional cuss word from a passing group of golfers. As the temperature begins to drop, I migrate to my designated writing nook. It’s a guestroom on the front of the house. On a sunny day, the room becomes toasty from the winter sun. It’s one of my favorite places.

I once read that Agatha Christie liked to write while soaking in her large Victorian tub. Benjamin Franklin would work for an hour or so without his clothes on. I suppose everyone has their special space or perhaps an unusual ritual which makes them more creative.

Where are you most creative?

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

109 thoughts on “The “Write” Place

  1. I’m one of those who does find myself being more creative in a coffee shop. Or sitting at a sidewalk table just outside the coffee-shop door. But usually I write at home, at the dining-room table.

    I wonder if, for you, having that expansive view of the golf course and lake stirs your imagination the way others’ minds are stirred by the clamor of a public space?

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    • You might be on to something, Sharon. Nature may have the same effect on my imagination that the sights and sounds of a coffee house has on someone else.

      I wonder if people who write in coffee shops can also read in that environment. I read the same paragraph over and over if there’s any background noise.

      Thank for sharing your writing place, Sharon. Enjoy your weekend!

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  2. Hi Jill, I think it’s all about where you can do your best work. When I was a student, I headed to the cafeteria every day after my last class, bought a Subway sandwich, and spent the next 3 or 4 hours there to study. I was surrounded by white noise, but somehow it didn’t bother me at all. The same does not apply when I want to write. I need my silence, which is one of the reasons I rise before the sun. The house is dark and quiet, distractions are zero. It’s time I’ve come to relish and couldn’t imagine not having it as part of my day. I generally start with reading blogs over my coffee, then get in some of my own writing time from 5-7 AM. The kids have to get up then, so my morning to myself is over by 7.

    I think it’s great that you can listen to music while you write — I recall a post you wrote on this some months ago. Music can inspire me, but not during the time I put fingers to keyboard. I save music for when I run, and it’s never failed me. My laptop stands at the ready, so when I get home from my jog I can rush over to the keys and get the thoughts down immediately. I love your writing nook; wish I had one. Right now I’m relegated to the kitchen table, which works fine at 4AM! I do need to invest in a set of cushions, though. The wooden chairs get pretty hard after a while.

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    • Hey Gwen! That’s interesting that you could study in a crowded cafeteria, but you must write in silence…perhaps it had something to do with the Subway sandwich. 🙂

      Isn’t it great how inspiring music can be? When I get stuck, I’ll listen to certain music and the lyrics get me going again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the music blasting when I write, it’s just in the background. However, like you when you write, when I read, I need complete silence.

      I seem to recall a picture of your space in the kitchen. If it’s quiet, then it’s the best place you can be. I would recommend some cushions, as we age, the back gets more sensitive. I’ve had two back surgeries and don’t plan on a third, so comfortable chairs are a must.

      Have a great weekend, Gwen!

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  3. My two favourite places are in bed and coffee shops, but this is only for short stories. Writing a book is different, and I don’t know why but it is. For me it requires a lot more discipline so I write in our spare room, with the door closed. I have dogs and coffee for company. It seems to work because I have just finished my latest book after being stuck for several weeks. I decided to not let myself out of that room until I had hit a word target….. worked like a dream.
    If you like the idea of coffee shop writing try this. Face away from the door and take headphones and play your favourite writing music when you get distracted. Many years ago I wrote a lot of my first book [non fiction] with head phones on while my wife and son had the TV going full bore in the next room! Worth a try.
    Terry

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    • Congratulations on completing your latest book, Terry! That’s great news. Requiring a different space for a book verses a short story makes perfect sense. I’ve always written both in the same environments, perhaps I should give a short story a try in the coffee house. I like the suggestion of head phones and my back to the door. It doesn’t matter where I am, doctor’s office, dentist, etc., if a door opens, I look. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion. Have a great weekend!

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  4. I am envisioning you swiveling around or with a bad case of whiplash at a coffee shop. :). I love your little nook and beautiful back yard. The lake must be so calming and inspiring.

    I’m at home mostly so I tend to write from the comfort of my bed. I move around the house so I don’t get too stiff and sit at my dining room table or couch. I have tried a coffee shop and have had some success but it’s more comfy at home. I’ll have to give my victorian tub a try! 🙂

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    • LOL! I can’t help it, Maria, I’m a people watcher. Yes, the nook and the patio are perfect places for someone like me who has a hard time staying focused. At times, on the patio, the hummingbirds will steal my time with their battles over the feeder, but they’re worth it. 🙂

      I would imagine sitting too long wouldn’t be good for you. Maybe you should talk hubby into a big hot tub! Or a pool, I could see you in one of those floating chairs composing your hilarious blog posts. 🙂 Happy Anniversary! No doubt there will be many celebrations, but nothing like your big 50! Enjoy!

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  5. Well the simple answer is people are different, so different things spark creativity in them. That said, one of my favorite activities in college was sitting in one of the quads and watching people walk by and writing about what I thought they might be doing or what I thought they might have been thinking about doing.

    That activity has changed a little as I’ve moved from a quad to another writing environment – but at its base, it is still the same type of activity.

    I am my most productive at the write-ins during NaNo – even though I spend the bulk of the time talking about writing. The furious 20-30 minutes that I do write are some of my most productive times.

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    • I love people watching too. It’s fun to imagine where they might be headed or what’s going on in their lives. It’s a great way to get the juices flowing.

      I appreciate you taking time away from your NaNo writing to comment. I’ve been watching your progress and I have no doubt you’ll reach your goal. Good luck and enjoy your weekend!

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  6. I do most of my writing either in the kitchen (hence the title of my blog) or at the dining room table. I prefer silence while I write, because I often talk to myself, or at least read out loud what I’ve written so I know the flow is ok. However, to get creativity going, I listen to Bob Dylan or Pink Floyd while I’m doing something else. Ideas for me sometimes come best in the shower, of all places. Sitting on the train, staring out the window, taking in other people’s chatter is also a wonderful place to become inspired. I always have a notebook with me and scribble down random snatches of conversation, or note the things people wear.
    The view from your patio is beautiful. I could probably write there, too! And I’d love a writing nook. We have a small room at the front of the house which my son has commandeered…but you’ve got me thinking now Jill!

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    • I love that the name of your blog stems from your writing environment, Jenny…very creative. No judgment here, I often talk… I mean, read out loud. Our ideas are on their own clock and can strike at anytime. Like you, listening to conversations can be very inspiring. I usually come up with blog post ideas during my morning commute to work.

      Oh dear, I don’t want to start a family feud. Maybe you and your son can “share” the space.

      Enjoy your weekend, Jenny! I hope it’s full of many cups of strong coffee. 🙂

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  7. I’m always amazed by writers who listen to a soundtrack to stimulate their writing. I write (and edit) best where there’s background noise that isn’t distracting (like a coffee shop–until someone decides to have a loud conversation at the table next to me) or relatively quiet, like a library or my own house. I travel quite a bit, so I’ve learned to write and edit on airplanes and in terminals, too.

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    • I’m jealous that you’re able to write and edit in a variety of environments, Candace. I would probably be more productive, if I were the same. I don’t know what it is, but if there are people around and conversations, I get zero words written. Oh gosh, I could never write or read in an airport terminal. I guess I’ll need to take Terry’s advice and bring along some earplugs. Have a great weekend, Candace!

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  8. Isn’t it interesting how writers need their own devised environments to stimulate creativity? I love this post Jill because it’s making me wonder if there is any other place I can write besides the desk/nightstand/mini office beside my bed! It is literally a corner that requires organization in order to work, but that corner is my world of writing (and reading). Could I write in a coffee house? Maybe. When I was working and needed to think among all the chattering going on around me, I would mentally put on blinders and ear plugs and moved ahead with writing to sell. It can be done but it’s a challenge.

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    • It is interesting, Dor and it seems to be different for everyone. Personally, I think your desk/nightstand/mini office beside your bed is working for you. I so enjoy your blog posts, especially when you spotlight and share photos of the Shenandoah Valley, it’s one of my favorite places. I’ll be interested to hear if you give coffee house writing a try. Enjoy your weekend, Dor!

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  9. I’m enjoying reading the responses as much as your post, Jill. (Also love your backyard and writing corner!) I don’t think I’ve ever thought about where I am most inspired to write. I move around the house with my computer, but tend to gravitate toward somewhere where I can see outside for most things. However, when I’m really into my head on something, it doesn’t matter where I’m sitting because I’m not easily distracted. It’s almost the opposite; I have to pull myself out of my head!

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    • Me too, Natine! I always look forward to the interesting and humorous comments. I’ve learned a lot about the regular commenters. I feel like they’re friends even though we’ve never met in person and many live so far away. It’s been an unexpected bonus.

      I wish I were like you, not easily distracted. Take advantage of it, it sounds like you can write anywhere. Enjoy the weekend!

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  10. I need quiet. I wish I could write among distractions, but I am very easily distracted. Even the persistent mewing of one of our cats will send me into spasms of cussing if I’m trying to write. The only place where I can be somewhat certain of no distractions is my bedroom. If my husband is home, he seems to think that us sharing a room (living room or back porch) is an invitation to talk or to interrupt me even if my eyes are locked on my laptop. What amazes me how few people realize that being interrupted when you are “on a roll” is one of the worse things that can be done to you.

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  11. Do you know that Woody Allen has written every single screenplay he has ever written, lying on his bed? I admire you writers. Writing is so hard for me, being a visual artist. I agonize. And edit and edit and delete. But, I can relate to Jenny’s listening to Bob Dylan for inspiration and her need for quiet to create.

    I love your nook. I love the acid green and how everything matches. I love the swear words occasionally coming from the golf course in the summer when you write on your patio.

    I do my artwork in silence, mainly because it is a non-verbal discipline. I am not a writer. I stand when I do my art. Or sit on a stool. When I write this blog, I write in this small room upstairs on my laptop on a white wicker desk. It’s not ideal, but for my agonizing over what to write, it’s safe and secure.

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    • Well, Woody must be writing with a pencil, my pen never works when I’m lying in bed. 🙂 I’ll confess, writing is hard for me too! I admire you for your artist abilities. I missed out on the artistic gene.

      Thanks for the compliment on my nook. Despite not having a view in that room, I do love it in the colder months because it’s so toasty. Come spring and summer, I’m ready to be outside and the patio is perfect.

      I appreciate you stopping by and sharing how you get creative, Hollis. Have a fantastic weekend!

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  12. I work best with peace and quiet and no distractions. I think I would write about what was going on around me if I was writing in a public place. I distract quite easily.

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    • I wish I weren’t so easily distracted, Kate. Like you, I get too interested in the conversations around me to ever me able to compose a sentence. I guess earplugs are the solution for me. Have a great weekend!

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  13. I also find writing in a coffeehouse difficult. I’m too distracted by people and movement.
    Is that second picture the view outside your patio???? It’s gorgeous. I would be out there too! I also love your writing space inside.
    I love the quiet when I write, but I also love listening to soundtracks like that for The Dark Knight. It’s so majestic and epic. I can’t listen to singing, because sung words are too distracting. But orchestrated music is perfect.

    I’m at my most creative when I’m working on something else–washing dishes; cleaning out the car. These innocuous activities allow my mind to solve thorny manuscript problems. And yes, the tub is the crucible for many great ideas.

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    • Thanks, L. Marie! Yes, that’s the view from our patio and every day, I’m thankful for it. In the spring and summer, it’s a perfect space to write and read.

      Oh, I love the orchestrated music too. There’s just something about music that can pull me out of a writing funk.

      Lol…I’m the same, driving and vacuuming can be very productive time for my WIP. Have a great weekend, L. Marie!

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  14. Wow Jill, is that a photograph of your garden? If so, it’s beautiful! No wonder you are inspired to write when you sit on your patio!

    I have never tried to write in a coffee house, but like you, I’ve heard that many writers do this. I think I would be too distracted. I tend to listen to music on my ipod while going for a walk before I get down to writing and then I write in silence, generally speaking. Of course, the peace and quiet of my summerhouse is where I do my writing where there are no distractions so that is what works for me!

    Have a lovely weekend Jill 🙂

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    • Yes, the garden is courtesy of your friend and mine, from Devon. 🙂 He loves beautifying our property.

      I’m always amazed when I go into a coffee house and see so many people with their laptops, typing away…wait, maybe they’re not writing, maybe they’re on Facebook. 🙂

      I think your summerhouse is a perfect writing environment for you, Sherri. Enjoy the weekend!

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      • Ha Ha! Yes, we Brits do love our gardens!!! Tell him I’m very impressed indeed 🙂

        I think you could be right about the Facebook thing…lol!

        Thanks Jill, yes, I do love my little summerhouse!

        Had a lovely weekend thanks with my son visiting (the one who had his heart broken but doing better now, day by day, thank goodness) and I hope you did too 🙂

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      • I’m so happy you had a nice visit with your son, Sherri. He’s such a talented musician, you should be very proud! Thanks for sharing his music with us. 🙂

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      • Thanks again Jill, really appreciate your support 🙂

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  15. I need peace and quiet as well – but that writing desk looks far too tidy 🙂

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  16. Oh-Oh, choose me to come and write in your guest room, Jill! It looks calm, NEAT, and absolutely wonderful.
    If I have an strong idea or I’m in the middle of a scene that is really moving along, I can write anywhere, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen much. I can’t write in Starbuck’s because all of them in our area are very chat-friendly, and I get distracted. But there’s a coffee house across from the old library that has overstuffed chairs tucked in little nooks, and when the big fireplace is roaring in the winter, they also rearrange the one-person tables and chairs at odd, private angles around the big room. It’s a big draw for students and writers.

    What worked for Agatha Cristie and Ben Franklin wouldn’t work today, not with laptops falling into bubbles or neighbors calling the police about the old guy next door meandering around naked! Or, possibly, maybe today’s writers ARE doing those things!

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    • I would be thrilled to set up a chair for you, Marylin. It is a wonderful little space, but it’s not always that neat. 🙂

      Our Starbucks are very loud and chatty as well. Perhaps it’s a result of all of the caffeine consumption going on. The other coffee house, across from the old library, sounds nice. Have you ever tried writing there?

      LOL…yeah, a laptop in the tub is never a good idea. I guess we’ll never know what people may or may not be wearing when they write. Personally, I prefer clothes, especially in the winter month. Have a great weekend!

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  17. I find I need change periodically. I prefer to write alone, but sometimes I’ll change it out by taking a writing date at a coffee shop or library. And sometimes another room in my house provides a new perspective — the boring dining room is a good place for me because it isn’t full of junk like my home office.

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    • I agree Theresa, change can provide inspiration. At times, I can be nomadic. I like the idea of a writing date. I need to connect with some local writers. Like you, on occasion, I’ll write at the dining room table, of course, I have to push aside the jigsaw puzzles. Have a great weekend!

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  18. I get good ideas in the shower and when gardening.

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    • The shower and tub seem to be popular places for the muse to strike. I don’t do the gardening, but when I’m cleaning house, ideas often pop into my head.

      Thanks for stopping by Naomi! I loved your recent post on happiness, it is a must read/see! 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

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  19. I couldn’t write in a coffee shop, partly because I’ve worked a lot of retail jobs and can’t help but thing the staff are getting annoyed with me for hogging a table.

    I think my ideal writing spot would be a library after hours. Around all those books, but no sound to distract me. The lights would have to be on though. I write horror and dark sci-fi, so I don’t really need the distraction of wondering what is lurking in those corner shadows.

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    • I’ve thought about that as well, Eric. If I’m hogging a table for 3 hours and I only order one coffee because I don’t want to waste my designated writing time running to the bathroom, will the staff be giving me the cheapskate eye? If people start eyeballing me, my muse is out the window.

      An after hours library sounds like a great spot, but yes, the light must be on. Do you have a basement in your house? That might be a good spot for you. Of course, your wife may have already suggested this. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Eric. I do hope your wife is feeling better.

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  20. Love the Hemingway quote. I can write anywhere and am trying not to get myself so conditioned to writing in one place that I can’t write well anywhere else. Sometimes though, writing outside is too distracting. Sitting in front of a brick wall would be better than facing a nice view. Then I just want to look at the horizon.

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  21. For me, I write best when I’m locked inside my cozy office, where I’m surrounded by my (admittedly small) library of first edition books I like to collect and have my wonderful little dog, Norman (a silver mini-Schnauzer), curled up around my feet under the desk. I write either in complete silence or, depending on my mood, mostly instrumental music ranging from Enya (for thoughtful, peaceful moments) to dark ambient for those times I’m either in, or want to get in, a more serious/suspenseful/scary moment. Just depends.

    Two things: your writing desk is awesome. I’m glad you fessed up to having cleaned before taking the picture. I try to maintain a clutter free desk but I’m only just keeping up. And what’s up with that view out of the back of your house. Wow. Very beautiful. I get to look out over a pool and a green belt, which is nice, but nothing like yours.

    I won’t get into my writing attire, however …

    Have a great weekend, Jill!

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    • It sounds as though you’re set, Dave, especially with Norman at your feet…cute name! Oh, Enya, I love having her in the background.

      Thanks, we’re blessed with a wonderful view. As far as my “clean” desk, I think the only reason it stays clean is because it’s small. I have a much larger desk in my office, that isn’t quite ready for public viewing. 🙂 Your view of the pool and the green belt sounds nice. I understand, not wanting to reveal your writing attire, especially if it’s odd. 🙂 Personally, I like lounge around the house kind of clothes.

      Enjoy your weekend, Dave!

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  22. I’m still trying to find my most productive spot. My sea front apartment should be ideal but it’s too easy to be sidetracked by Internet, radio, bed… Coffee houses – I’d feel guilty not buying enough coffee. I’ve tried sitting under trees and on clifftops during summer – pleasant but unproductive. The library shuts at 5pm.
    I’m presently trying writing at my desk for 90mins or so after work – some promise there I think!

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    • Oh, a sea front apartment would be my dream writing spot, Roy. I love the ocean. I’m not sure I could do the cliff tops, since I’m afraid of heights. Our library, like yours doesn’t accommodate those of us who work full time during the day. Writing for 90 minutes a day sounds very promising…good luck. Enjoy your weekend!

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  23. Jill, I cannot draft in a coffeehouse. It’s too frenetic. Too distracting. I’m an introvert and tend to generate enough energy on my own. I prefer your way. At my desk with a specific playlist I associate with the story playing in the background. Blocking out any distracting noise and giving me a little emotional stimulation to feed the story. 🙂

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    • Your comment made me feel better, Kourtney. When I hear about writers who can write anywhere and see people in Starbucks, behind their laptops, it makes me question why I can’t do the same. You hit the nail on the head, it’s too distracting for me. Enjoy your weekend, Kourtney!

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  24. And weirdly enough, my most creative ideas come to me when I’m cleaning the bathroom. I have no idea why. But that’s how it seems to happen. 😉

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  25. Great post, Jill. As I wrote in a recent post – where and how creativity grab us matters. We just have to get there and let it happen.

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    • Thanks, Francis! I agree, everyone is different when it comes to where and when our creativity is sparked. I need to accept the fact that I’ll never be one of those writers who hunkers down in Starbucks, but that’s okay. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your weekend!

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  26. I don’t have a particular place that makes me creative. Ideas tend to happen anywhere and any time although I’ve never tried to write in a coffee shop. Like you, I’d be too interested in other peoples conversations to think about what I was doing but I may use some of what I’d heard later in a story.
    If that’s your lap top on the desk it looks the same make and colour as mine

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    • Yes, that is my laptop, Steve. I’ve had it for four years and it’s been great…knock on wood. 🙂 I don’t want to say I’m an eavesdropper, but if I try to read or write in a public setting, I can’t help but listen to the conversations going on around me. Like you, I’ve been known to use some of those conversations. 🙂 Thanks for taking time away from NaNo to comment, Steve. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  27. I tried writing at the library a couple of different times. I think I may have written one word all together. Just could not concentrate, so I can’t even imagine being in a more public place like a coffee shop. Although it sounds good in theory. Not for me though. I prefer my little nooks at home. I do get a lot of writing done with the TV blasting away. Strange. I LOVE your little writing nook. Wish my big, old desk was so pretty and organized, but sadly it’s always a mess of jumbled notes and research. I had a tiny office in the basement where I wrote for years, but recently I turned it over to my husband for his music. Now I have no where special, I’m still experimenting. 🙂

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    • Like you, Elizabeth, I prefer my nook or patio because there’s no people. I love the library, but I can’t write there either. I’ve been known to do some writing/editing with the TV on, but I can’t read with it blaring in the background.

      My nook is so cozy in the winter, but during the summer, it’s too warm, even with the blinds closed and the A/C on. As I mentioned in a previous comment, my other desk isn’t as neat…either is our dining room table, which has piles of research and notes. Keep searching, I’ll bet there’s a special place in your house. Enjoy your Sunday, Elizabeth!

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  28. I really don’t like noise, but I don’t have a special place to write. Sometimes it starts in my head before I get out of bed on a morning.

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    • With all the traveling you do, Jo, I’m sure you can write anywhere. I often have ideas run through my head at night, when I’m getting ready to sleep.

      I’m so happy you had a great time in Barcelona. Thank you for sharing your photos, they’re spectacular! Enjoy your Sunday!

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  29. I don’t exactly write fiction so it’s hard for me to answer. I mostly write non-fiction (a news story, feature, etc) and I can write best whenever I’m not home. I recently discover being at home makes me least productive. 😦

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    • Interesting…perhaps there’s too many things you feel need to get done around the house? That’s one of my biggest challenges when it comes to staying planted in my chair. I pop up to clean this or vacuum that. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Have a great week.

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      • Actually no, I don’t have a lot of things to do at home. I just feel like..I should be resting whenever I’m at home. 😆 And the fact that I go to college and I don’t have a full time job (I only work online..that’d be from home) keeps me at home most of the time. So at times, I get bored and don’t feel like working when I’m home.

        Thanks for your reply.

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      • I can see why you would want to get out of the house to write. I would probably do the same if I were in your position. Good luck with school!

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  30. Hmmmm…Franklin wrote in his birth suit? I should try that one day:-)

    Like you, I am a people watcher and I won’t be able to write in a coffee shop. Then again, I haven’t tried it so I might surprise myself and come up with a masterpiece. I should try that one day too:-)
    I have my nook at home (not as neat and tidy as yours though) where I can spend hours of my day. I write lesson plans, grade papers, read blogs, do research etc. etc. I’ve grown used to the background “noise” in my home while I am in my nook- I don’t know if absolute silence will work for me. Right now, the drone of the AC and the bird are keeping me company.

    Where and when ideas come to me…mostly when I am in the shower or before falling asleep. The trouble is this: I don’t often write my ideas down while I am in bed and then I forget them.

    Have a happy Sunday, Jill. As always, I enjoy reading your posts!

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    • Thanks, Elaine! LOL…I get cold too easily to give Franklin’s technique a try. 🙂

      I could spend hours people watching, Elaine. You should try writing in a coffee shop, I’d love to read your masterpiece! If you do give it a try, let me know how it works for you.

      I keep a small notebook and a little flashlight in my nightstand for those thoughts that pop into my head when I lay down to sleep. As for the shower, there is a waterproof pad/pen that suctions to the wall. 🙂

      Have a great week, Elaine!

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      • I will try coffee shop one of these days! Masterpiece might happen, if I write, right?:)
        Thanks for the wishes- hectic week for me. I have to dedicate some time to write a blog post.
        I can see that you are very prepared to note your ideas. I’m taking notes from you, Jill.:)

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      • Lol…taking notes from me…that could be trouble. 🙂 I’m looking forward to your next post and that Masterpiece! 🙂

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  31. As a struggling poet (not a writer), the where to me is little less than insignificant. Aha, but rather when. When I’m angry. When I feel. When I enter into the dark haunted and tortured soul of my subject. Thus the when becomes the where, from where I gather poetic aphorism.

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  32. I think this has started to change for me… I used to always write in cafes with my headphones and a playlist going. I could absolutely tune out the world and just go to my own little creative place. But over the last year I have done a lot more writing at home and I think I may prefer it this way now. I usually pick one specific song that captures the tone of what I’m working on and I’ll listen to that song on repeat for hours… It’s interesting because the whole mood of the writing will be imprinted on that song so that when I hear it again in the future I go back to where my head was when I was writing. All very odd but it works 🙂

    Your backyard looks lovely!

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  33. I write in the quiet of my home, but will take the first draft to a pub and edit the thing from beginning to end. Usually takes a few days at the pub. Maybe I should try the Ben Franklin method for the next pub trip 😉

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  34. I have bouts of brilliance in the car while driving. When there is no way I can write it down. Well, I actually do try and write it down – but the sorry (unsafe) attempts while driving are generally pretty unreadable. I keep meaning to put the tape recorder in the car or figure out the Dragon feature on my phone. But I only remember when the next brilliant idea pops in my head. While driving.

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    • I’m the same way, Shel. I don’t know what it is about driving that gets my creative juices flowing. I too have made unsafe attempts to scratch my thoughts on a post-it, only to discover later, I can’t make out my handwriting. I need to keep a tape recorder handy as well.

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  35. I think the best “work” I do consists of melodies that come to mind when I wake up in the morning — either during a 3 a.m. bout of insomnia or at a more reasonable time. I have a laptop right next to my bed so that I can start Audacity, hum something and record it for later. Sometimes the melodies will be accompanied by silly, placeholder lyrics like “you, you gotta change the way you do stuff” (a recent example).

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  36. Now that writing is my daily “job,” and after having pushed through the obstacles that block me from being productive (getting the job done), I find a difference between my “creative” time, which is when the inspiration happens, and the “productive” time, which is when I just hunker down and crank it out (revising, applying the craft that I’ve spent 25+ years learning). I’m most productive at my desk, (but I also find it a creative kind of work).

    When I’m seeking the muse of inspiration, however, I need a change of scenery. Any change of scenery will help–a coffee shop, a quiet spot on the beach or a fallen log in the woods, riding the bus, listening to music, doing a weird writing prompt… But then, I’m not working on keeping those “distractions” at bay. I’m welcoming their intrusions, to make my mind drift out of its habitual thought-patterns.

    I could never work in a coffee shop and “tune out” the coffee shop.

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    • Thanks for sharing this, Tracy. I’ve never really thought about separating my creative time from productive time, but it makes sense. I think I’ve been doing it all along, especially when my mind wanders during my morning commute or when I listen to my iPod

      I agree, a change of scenery can do wonders for inspiration, but when it comes to getting the words down on paper, I don’t want the distractions of a public place. Have a great week!

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  37. Brilliant post here Jill.
    I am easily distracted so writing in a cafe doesn’t work for me. I usually find myself listening to conversations around me or starting one. That’s why I read and write behind closed doors, with a cold drink and with my cloths on.
    Stay blessed!

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    • Thank you, Walter. I’m with you on being easily distracted. I can’t even read the newspaper with any kind of background noise. I agree, clothes on when writing and reading! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

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  38. Excellent post Jill as usual. I would say I get distracted very easily so coffee shop has never worked for me. Library or book shop has not worked either. I love the quiet corner of my study and the quiet outdoors like yours. I love your beautiful nook and the scenic view where you create such great writings. Atmosphere around always works magic with me too. My favorite music or song plays in the background softly to add to the inspiration. I apologize for coming so late to your post. LOL As an investigative journalist I sometimes work on a true story of course that which happens around me, what would you do if the hero of your story turned out to be the villain and you get the extreme shock of your life. This is what happened to me and it took me almost two weeks to recover from the shock. I am fine now and have learned something valuable from this experience. I thought I will share this experience with you although it has nothing to do with your post. Forgive me for being late on your post. Take care my friend and God bless.

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    • Thanks for your kind words, Samina! I was worried that your eyes were acting up again. I’m happy to hear you were just out fulfilling your duties of investigative journalist. 🙂 You’re so funny! I too would be shocked to discover my hero was actually the villain…but it would certainly keep me turning the pages. Take care of those eyes and enjoy your weekend!

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  39. I can write in a coffee shop IF I have my iPod and ear buds with me. I didn’t used to be able to write listening to anything, but lately I can. Of course that is non-fiction, not fiction. I haven’t attempted fiction in years. I have been working on my autobiography, but every time I’ve attempted this, I get to a certain point in my past and can’t go on. I’m not sure if I’m losing interest in the writing or if I just don’t want to write about a certain incident that I need to include. It is most likely the latter. Anyway, I actually find that I write better at home on the computer when no one else is here. I can play music without the ear buds, and this gets my creativity flowing. I bought a laptop years ago, but I don’t like the keyboard on it, so my son took that over! So the family computer is in the living room where everyone hangs out most of the time; that’s why I write better when no one is here.

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    • I haven’t tried the coffee shop with my iPod and ear buds, but I have a feeling I would still be distracted by the people coming in and out. I guess I’m too much of a people watcher. As far as your current writing project, maybe you can skip the incident that’s giving you difficulty and readdress it at a later time. I wish you the best in your writing and I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. Enjoy your weekend!

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  40. Always delightful! Where but if not the head and heart and soul and…

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