Do you ever get cabin fever? If you’re a full-time author, I bet you get fed up with working at home and want to find other places to write in. Here are five suggestions you might find interesting as alternatives. So, what are you waiting for? Get out and about!
This one is rather obvious. You would be surprised how many authors and writers don’t consider going to their local library to work. Libraries, often have desks to work at and even a passable (free) internet connection.
Visiting these institutions can be pleasurable as their working areas are equipped with desks, reading lamps and comfortable chairs. It can sometimes get busy, especially if your area has students close by who are using it to study (or flirt!). But if you get there early, or apply for a Reader Pass, you can find your perfect, quiet working space.
2. Theatre Cafés
A lot of authors have at some time or other used various cafés to write their masterpieces. J K Rowling wrote large parts of the Harry Potter series in The Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh. However, many establishments are now quite savvy (and a bit fed up) with freelancers who turn up at nine am, buy one coffee and occupy a table for the whole day. Not so in most theatre cafés.
Many theatre cafés can be functional, with airy architecture, and because can you stay there for any amount of time, you might spot a famous actor arriving or leaving rehearsals. It also exudes artiness with posters and works of art on its barren walls. A theatre is a useful place for a few hours uninterrupted working.
There may also be other café’s which offer quiet places for writers. You need to investigate your local area. In mine of Cardiff Bay there is Sunflower & I, a café which offers a unique experience. Having a Bohemian style and atmosphere it is the ideal place for a writer. And it has a 16+ rule which means no children to disturb that inspirational flow.
3. Formal Gardens
This is probably not such a useful tip, especially in the midst of winter in the UK. But, if you’re on the other side of the world, or it’s summer where you are, then get to a garden to write when you’re fed up with working at home. Find a shaded bench or a leafy tree to sit under, take out your notebook or laptop and start writing.
A public garden is ideal as there’s something about the sound of nature, be it birdsong, the gentle flow of water from a pond, or the rustle of the wind in majestic trees that never fails to inspire. You can also write on the decking of your home, or in your own garden. And, if you are close to the sea, this is another special place to write.
Remember, writing places can, in themselves be inspirational.
4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
OK, so you can’t really write in a car unless it’s a huge motor-home. However, trains and planes are absolutely the best places to get a lot of writing done. I’m not sure why this is, but I guess it’s the lack of distractions. For the number of minutes or hours, you are stuck in a seat with a table in front of you not doing anything, and poor wifi (if any), it is perfect!
5. Other People’s Homes
‘What?’ I hear your shout. Now, bear with me. We are not suggesting you sneak into other people’s homes and settle down to write a few words of your manuscript. No, no, no!
Imagine this. You are invited to a house party for the weekend, but are in the middle of a manuscript. You want to go, but are thinking of refusing the invitation.
Instead of being a party pooper, and saying, “I’d love to come for a visit, but I have to work.”
Instead say, “I’d love to come for a visit, but as I have to work would you mind if I spend a few hours writing while I’m there?” Most people won’t mind, honestly.
I know of one author’s friend who is keeping an early draft of a manuscript she wrote in her house, in case (she said ‘when’ – a true friend), the author becomes famous.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas on what to do if the walls are closing in and you are fed up with working at home.
So, what’s your favourite place to write? I’d love to know!