N – Niche Spot: Right Where I Belong

I can’t write just anywhere. It should be easy, shouldn’t it? A notebook, a pen, and that’s all you need. It’s not an expensive, or complicated hobby this writing thing. Yet, some times; some spots, the muse can find me and others, we just can’t sync up.

For instance, I find that in any sort of vehicle – trains, planes, automobiles – I cannot get inspired. Sure, I’ll throw a couple of words down, but I usually find that my work aboard any kind of transportation is equitable to my earliest writing – when I was 9.

However, I’ve found a few Niche spots for me:

1. Any coffeehouse. For two years, I was writing at Starbucks, almost exclusively. I was working there at the time so it started with just going for my employee discount and the free WiFi, but I found that I was able to write so easily, even with the occasional interruption from customers and coworkers asking why I was there on my day off. But for the most part, I was able to get a lot done. I edited my entire MS there, and wrote about 60 pages of one of my WsIP, plus all the planning, formulating, and note-taking I did.

2. My favorite pub. Okay, this is an old Niche spot – they do change – but it was useful in it’s day. In a corner of the bar, I wrote nearly all of my MS’s first draft. I remember sitting in there for brunch on a Sunday morning, friends all around, eating Irish Breakfast, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and typing away. Sure, I would pay attention to the conversation here and there, especially if I was struggling with any part of the story. But the good days – when it seems like the words are on the paper before you’ve even thought them – were fun and productive.

3. My “office”. For the first time, I have an actual home office. I’m so excited. I’ve never had a space to work in my home before, at least not since I was a child living with my parents. Even then, I didn’t use it as much for writing as for avoiding homework, while looking busy. It’s fairly new, but since January my office has been working well for me. The proof is in the Archives. Here’s to a long and successful future in my Niche spot.

Readers, please feel free to share your own Niche stories! I’d love to hear them.




Filed under life of a writer, writing

6 responses to “N – Niche Spot: Right Where I Belong

  1. I imagine writing “just anywhere” is a learned ability. Writing is best when comfortable and not distracted, and for many that means settling into a writing spot. I’ve tried writing at a coffee house, but the distractions tend to overwhelm me. After some practice, I would probably learn to focus in the new environment. I can draw pictures just fine in public areas, but I’ve had more practice at it in public.

    Changing locations is good for the mind, so having a few niche spots sounds like a nice plan.

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      I agree with the importance of switching things up a bit from time to time. I’ve been known to get work done in a variety of places, but the common denominator has always been a lot of “distractions” (to block out, but still hear in the background). Public places have always just worked for me. Except on those really special days when the inspiration hits so hard that it doesn’t matter where you are. Your going to write (or paint, or draw, etc.)

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I don’t get the Starbucks thing…I need a quiet place to think with zero distractions, not the busiest spot in town! On a vacation I wrote while sitting on a secluded stone wall as the sun rose over a gorgeous green pasture – for me, this was paradise!

    • Jennifer Marshburn

      I think my love of writing in public places has to do with the isolating nature of writing. I may not be interacting much with the people around me, but at least there are people around. When I get stuck, instead of pulling my hair out or punching a hole in a wall, I can go mingle a little. Although I was very excited to finally have an at home office, after several months of trying to use it primarily, I find that I’m too used to the background noise of a busy coffee shop, cafe, or pub. The quiet and stillness of my office is very distracting (along with all the great things that I have at home, like food, radio, books, couch, television, bed, etc.. The important thing is to find the spot that works for you. And that stone wall – that does sound like paradise!

      • That makes a lot of sense… my wife is the same way, and loves working at Starbucks! She used to despise the library in college, and never understood why I spent so much time there… to each their own! (Of course, you can’t get a white chocolate mocha at the library!)

      • Jennifer Marshburn

        And none of the libraries will let me bring in a French press.

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