Changing Location for Inspiration

By | June 19, 2012

Location, location, location. Great writers will tell you it means everything when it comes to composing their next sentence. Whether you are writing a classical fiction tale or just putting thoughts down in a journal, it can be the catalyst that breaks down writer’s block. Changing location doesn’t have to require a van and movers; maybe getting off the chair is enough. No matter what you write, work environment plays a role.

Make a Small Change

Taking the occasional break helps keep your thoughts flowing. Writing is a complex task. Sometimes the words seem to write themselves, but those moments are few and far between. When you are struggling, a minor change in location can give you inspiration. Leave the words behind while you walk around, take a shower, do the dishes or watch a movie. Stepping away will freshen up your thinking so when you sit down to write again, the struggle is over. It’s also beneficial to step away from a first draft before you begin editing it again. When you come back with a different mindset you can view your writing more objectively.

Get a New Perspective

If you have been staring at the screen or paper for hours, now might be a good time to change your perspective. Location doesn’t have to be where you physically are, it might be where your mind rests. Minimize the word processor screen and read some emails or surf the web for a few minutes. If you are writing by hand, flip the page and doodle for a while. Since you are not actually leaving your spot, your mind will still be somewhat in the writing game. You might find the next line pops in while you’re looking at something other than the page. Let your brain soak up some visual art or music. Muses play across art forms. It wouldn’t be surprising for your next writing spark to come from a completely different type of flame.

Just Get Moving

Grab your work product, whether it is a laptop, tablet computer or notebook and move to a different location. Go to the nearest coffeehouse and work over a piece of pie. If nature is an inspiration for you, move to a quiet area in the park to work. Sometimes just changing rooms is enough. There might be distractions in the office that are interfering with your thinking whether you know it or not. Move from the desk to the couch or from the couch to the kitchen table. Changing the environment around you may be all you need for inspiration. Lighting, noise level and room temp—all have an effect on you. If your current position isn’t inspiriting, then a different area of the city may help too.

Think Bigger to Get Better

The writing process is funny. It’s hard to say what will truly inspire. When you are really stuck, then it might be time to consider a big change. Ernest Hemingway used to run to the Florida Keys when he needed inspiration. Some writers require solitude to get their creative juices flowing. Finding the right setting might take some time and travel. Maybe you need to stare at the New York City skyline, sit under the arch in St. Louis or light a fire in a Colorado cabin to focus on your task. Making a big location change to get away from life’s distractions can help writers finish a book or work on a dissertation. Going to a place with the purpose of finishing keeps you on task.

Writing is an art form and like any creative process, it is different for each artist. Take the time to figure out what truly inspires you. Location may be the key that unlocks your creative self.

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