You finally have the time to sit down and write. But lo and behold, distractions block your way to a truly productive writing time.
A TV blares from the next room. Car horns honk outside and people are talking loudly. Every 5 minutes someone stops to talk to you, interrupting any flow you’ve managed to get into.
To some of you, this doesn’t sound like a problem. You know how to cope with annoying noises and interruptions. Some of you may even seek out these environments to write in.
For most, however, there is a line between ambiance and distraction. Sure you can write productively at a coffee house where baristas shout names and machines whir. But the second you sit down at your kitchen table, no writing is possible because of similar – but heightened — noises.
Because you haven’t found your perfect writing spot.
Now, of course each person’s perfect writing spot will look a little different. For some, a hectic kitchen is perfect. Others require the solitude and silence found only in the deep underbelly of an academic library.
If you are still struggling to find that perfect writing spot, here are some questions to ask yourself to get you started.
1.What is your noise tolerance?
Can you not function when there is any noise? Or do you not function when there is no noise? Whether a lover of silence, the gentle ambiance of a café, or a crowded bus, discover what levels of background sounds you can put up with while still being a productive writer.
Pro tip: For someone who enjoys ambiance but doesn’t want to leave the comfort of their home, try using an ambient mixer website.
2.What do you need to write?
List some things that you cannot write without. Maybe that is a fresh cup of coffee. Or perhaps you need sunlight or fresh air to put pen to paper. Maybe a cozy blanket or comfy couch. Now use that list to eliminate writing spots. If coffee is necessary, maybe a coffee house is best. Need elements of nature? Set up a hammock in your backyard.
3.How well do you handle distractions?
If someone interrupts you can you quickly get back on track or will you have lost all focus? Does the presence of Netflix or the calling of your bed lead you to procrastinate? Will a messy environment bring out your neat freak? Avoid environments with these things you cannot tolerate. It may take some trial and error to find out what your distractions are, but eliminate those places as perfect writing spots if they do contain distractions you cannot handle.
4.What places are accessible to you?
Consider the environments you live and work in. If the nearest coffee shop is an hour away, then going there every time you want to write may not be feasible. Maybe you commute by public transportation. That may leave some ideal writing spots inaccessible. Urban dwellers may struggle to find spots in nature to write, while those rural folks may not have access to a bustling, noisy environment that they crave.
Now use the information that you’ve discovered about yourself through these questions to find a writing spot that perfectly fits you.
Have you found your perfect writing spot? Comment below with the best place to write or an annoying distraction.