All writers have their favourite places to write. Mine is my couch. In fact, I’m on it right now.
But there are some places where even seasoned authors just can’t seem to find that proverbial muse. We polled several of them for their “favourite” worst places to write, and while you might be able to relate to some of their responses, others might surprise you.
10) Around their kids: Yep. Little ones are a constant distraction, from wanting more milk to needing the channel changed. They also tend to peek over your shoulder, breathing down your neck as they inspect what’s keeping you from showering them with attention. But who can blame them for being curious about what you’re doing? It looks so interesting…for about three seconds.
Then it becomes all about them again. Pouring milk. Changing channels.
If you have teenagers, you’re slightly better off. They won’t want anything to do with you, as long as there’s food, TV, and available car keys. So you’ll have lots of time to write, probably about how much you miss them being little.
Face it: no matter how old they are, you’re screwed.
9) Near the TV: In this on-demand world, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. So, you can always catch up on those episodes of Modern Family that you missed.
In fact, why not watch them right now? They’ll just be on in the background while you write.
Two hours later you’re caught up on watching, but the page will still be blank. Stupid TV.
8) In the Nude: Ok, not really a “where”, but a “state of undress” is still a state, isn’t it?
They say that Oscar Wilde used to write in an empty room, completely naked, so he had no distractions. But that was in the days of pen and paper, before the threat of having our web cams broken into existed.
But leaked nude pictures have actually helped some careers.
Would it help yours? Hmm….
7) Around a cat: “Feed me.
“Be my scratching post.
“Your keyboard looks warm – I think I’ll lie on it.
“Chase me away and I’ll stare at you from across the room. Try to concentrate now, human, under the powerful gaze of my stare.
“Ha! Knew you couldn’t.”
6) Home: See ALL of the above. If you have no kids, no pets, no TV, and enjoy wearing clothes, you might be okay.
Oh wait, there’s wine?
5) Anywhere you can access Facebook: WiFi is everywhere, so the temptation to check your Facebook newsfeed, upload some pictures, or play Candy Crush can be insurmountable. For authors, theses distractions are all too common.
In fact, I ran this poll on Facebook and got a huge response. Point proven.
4) On Date Night: You think the cat has a powerful death stare? Check out the one on your partner when you bring the laptop to date night.
The cat will probably never leave you, but your partner might.
Then again, look at all the time you’ll have to write now.
3) In the Mall: Great for people watching. But the constant stream of humanity flowing by can be too entertaining to be distracted by writing. People are just too darn fun to miss!
Maybe avoid the mall. Besides, nothing in the food court is brain food. More like drain food. For mall rats.
2) At Work: Hee! I know someone who actually did this! Good thing their boss was away at the time. Make sure yours is too before you use company time to write your retirement book.
Unless, of course, you’re prepared to live solely on a typical writer’s income. If you like Kraft Dinner three times per day, you might not mind so much.
1) Starbucks: Strangely, few mentioned coffee shops in general. Starbucks was specifically named, so I suppose Timothy’s and Second Cup are fine.
What’s the difference that makes Starbucks stand out in such dubious fashion?
They’re noisy. Every Starbucks I’ve been in seems designed to broadcast every whispered conversation so that you drown in a cacophony of voices.
They’re crowded. Good luck getting a table, no matter the time of day.
And, worst of all, they’re stereotypical. “There’s ANOTHER writer with his laptop, taking two hours to drink his coffee!”
Where do you find it impossible to write? Leave your answer in the comments below!
If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!
Richard Todd is a novelist, screenwriter, and President at The Editor’s Desk. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com. Connect with Richard on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.