As I’ve been writing more lately, I’ve been experimenting with varying aspects of my routine and seeing how that impacts production. Now, when I say “my routine” I don’t mean I put on my special Writing Socks or a lovingly curated playlist for my characters (Before anyone objects: I’ve seen people reference both of those before, and if that’s what works for you, go for it). I’m talking about really basic stuff, here:
Location, location, location.
When I write at ‘home’ – which currently refers to my dorm room – I can sometimes get a lot done. There are no rules as to what I can and can’t do, so if I want to write with music blasting I can…or if I want to write in complete silence no one will distract me. I can write in bed or at my desk or lying on the floor and no one will look at me funny.
The disadvantage to ‘home’ is that there’s a lot of other shiny stuff to distract me — books, for one. Netflix. The internet in general. So if I don’t feel like writing, sometimes I just don’t.
In the Library
On average? More productive than at home. Fewer distractions equals more words, and something about being in the presence of books makes me ashamed to slack off on Facebook. On the other hand, my college library observes strict silence, which is usually nice but occasionally a problem, for example if I’d like to take a little break and chat with someone, or if I’m stuck and want to talk through a scene.
In a Coffeeshop or Cafe
Another good option. Food, check. Drink, check. Background chatter, check. Though sometimes the background chatter gets a bit too loud and becomes foreground chatter…
Write Ins at CB2
It turns out that the Cambridge NaNoWriMo crew, maybe because it’s a smaller area, is more active and friendlier than the NYC group. They hold write-ins twice a week at this little cafe called CB2. I’ve been twice so far and it’s been AMAZINGLY productive for me.
There’s background chatter, but they book out a separate room so the immediate area is a little quieter. It’s the “library” room, so I’m surrounded by books. I’m also surrounded by people writing, so I’m more motivated to stay on task — especially when there’s a word war. If I’m feeling peckish I can pop downstairs and order a side of chips (french fries) (with KETCHUP, NOT BEANS YOU HEATHENS) and a coke. Or real food, if I’m really hungry.
So far it’s the best of all possible worlds. I’ll be sad when November ends and the write-ins are over; I could go on my own but it’s a tiny bit too far from my college to go unless there’s a real reason to. So at that point I guess I’ll have to start experimenting again…
Where do you like to write? Do you find that location makes a difference?