Write Here: Places that Get Creative Juices Flowing

March 2, 2012

In Woody Allen’s Oscar-nominated movie, Midnight in Paris, the writer protagonist enjoys long walks to get his creative juices flowing. Later in the film, while the character tries to explain his odd behavior, he rambles about how showering and dressing prepares him to write as well. He’s not the only one.

Writers “write” in their heads first, and then transcribe the story onto paper. Head writing can happen anywhere, but like the character in the movie, some places are more conducive. Here’s my list of places that get my creative juices flowing:

  1. The sidewalk—I never underestimate the plotting power of a brisk walk. Crisp morning air on my face as I hoof it to the coffee shop has helped me describe sensory details in multiple manuscripts. Noticing the people I pass has inspired entire characters.
  2. The treadmill—When I run, I’m listening to music, and the action is purely meditative. I’ve been known to plot entire books in the course of a mile. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Some days it’s hard to focus on the plotting, because my brain is bitching so loudly about the exercise.
  3. The kitchen—Cooking isn’t my forte, but I have to do it sometimes (otherwise, I couldn’t justify my kitchen renovation). Whether I’m cooking (cough, cough) or cleaning up after a meal, my mind is wandering. And if my mind is wandering, chances are it’s going to wander to my work in progress.
  4. The laundry room—Folding laundry is my least favorite household chore. Whenever I’m engaged in something mindless, my brain squawks. Thoughts usually start as an attempt to escape the doldrums, but end up productive. I go from, “This sucks. Can’t somebody else do this? Can I just re-fluff and fold later?” to “Did I remember to clean out the lint filter? What if I forgot to clean out the lint filter? What if my heroine forgot to clean out the lint filter and her house caught on fire…and the firefighter who saved her…” the cat jumps into the laundry basket beside me “…cat! The hunky firefighter saves the heroines cat…” And so it begins, and the laundry gets folded much faster. Thank, God!
  5. The shower—There’s something about a steamy room to get those juices flowing. Enough said.
  6. The car—This one is dangerous and needs to be used sparingly. (I think it was Raven McAllan who shared my habit of “wondering off” behind the wheel.)
  7. The bed—Please. I’m talking about dreaming. Seriously.

How about you? Have you noticed a place or activity that gets your writing juices flowing?

E

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One Response to “Write Here: Places that Get Creative Juices Flowing”


  1. Walking definitely works for me: somewhere where I can just THINK without the distractions of life. The bath, too, because I like the heat of the water and the aroma. It’s just a place where I can relax, and when I relax, the ideas come.
    Alexandrina

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