Leave; Find Motivation

I woke up at 6 am without an alarm clock today. Not typical, but I rolled with it. Got up, watched my husband sweep snow off his Jeep, made breakfast, settled in to work.

Found my way to every social media site that I have an account with. Read every blog on my Google Reader. Walked the dog. Put on eye makeup (not typical for a day at home). Contemplated vacuuming; stopped myself before circumstances got that desperate.

I had to leave the house. I usually work at home– sometimes in my office, sometimes in the living room, sometimes on the deck if the weather is warm.

I just couldn’t focus in my house today. So I packed up my computer, my work notes, my wallet and my phone and headed down to Starbucks. I hunkered down in the crowded coffee shop with a cup of coffee and wouldn’t you know– my motivation crept out from under the rock she’d been occupying.

I find it funny that I’ve started a new weekly series called Where Writers Write, yet my own writing space was suffocating me today.

Nevertheless, this is a good thing to remember, especially as a writer who spends a lot of time at home. Sometimes you need to leave your space to find your drive.

When I was working on NaNoWriMo, I did most of my writing in coffee shops. I found that I could write more in less time when I was in a different environment. I spent a lot of time at the library while working on my MFA thesis, desperately needing the dull silence of the solitary-confinement style study rooms in order to think.

I know I’m not alone in this– do you ever run into this problem? Ever feel like you need to get out of your usual surroundings to really get productive?



8 thoughts on “Leave; Find Motivation”

  1. I haven’t tried using different writing spaces with this current novel. With my last novel, I did write in coffee shops occasionally, but I’d get really annoyed when people read over my shoulder! I feel stifled by my little apartment sometimes though. It would be good to get out.


  2. I was the same with NaNoWriMo, way more productive in cafés. Home was too distracting. Despite best intentions, I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to hang out the washing or walk the dog. Naturally I do not have these desires at other times!


  3. This feels so familiar. I love being able to work from home, looking less than my best, surrounded by my cats and with a fresh pot of coffee nearby. But sometimes I feel stuck, and the only way to get unstuck is to get a change of scenery. Sometimes, this only means moving to a different room in my condo (not that there are many options). Sometimes it means taking a trip to Barnes & Noble to do market research at their magazine racks. And sometimes it means lugging my laptop to my favorite coffee shop. Breaking out of that routine? It helps me break out of my writer’s block.


    1. Totally agree. This time of year, the routine of being home day in and day out starts to drive me out of my mind. I need to keep mixing things up or I get restless and totally unproductive. Love going to B&N for mags and coffee!


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