The usual places we write become tired, trite, and timeworn. We need a change of scenery to stimulate creativity or break through writer’s block.
Luckily, there are many encouraging choices. Not all these options will be available because of where you reside. However, most will be available.
Everyone has access to a local park or forest. Try a dog park to spur new ideas. Watch the dogs running around without a care in the world.
I live a 2-minute walk from the longest freshwater beach in the world. Walking along the beach, watching people provides plenty of ideas. It is enjoyable to write on my laptop while people have fun on the beach.
Creativity fills the art galleries of the world and walking through is an arousing experience. Most galleries have cafes. After walking around, find a café to write in.
A great London (UK) art gallery is The National Portrait Gallery. I always walk around and take photos when I am in London. Flipping through the photos on my phone lifts my spirits.
It is encouraging when surrounded by thousands of books? Especially if you are drafting a book! Most libraries have tables to spread out your research and electronic devices.
For specific ideas, find books or magazines about your topic. Read their covers and flip through them. There are no new ideas. You have not failed if you need prodding from another writer’s work to get you going.
If you are drafting a historical story. In the museum, walking through the time-period provides insights into that world. Museums can be excellent research.
With a red brick and grey stone exterior, the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) is a beautiful sight. Architecture increases the museum’s impact.
A hotel lobby is a possibility. Most hotels have ample seating in their lobby. Find a quiet corner and write. Hotels want people sitting in their lobby, it makes the hotel appear busy.
Need a character for your story? Find someone in the lobby and base the character’s physical description on that person.
On weekdays, lounge on a bar patio in the afternoon when it is calm. Instead of a beer, have a coffee and begin writing.
In Toronto, back when I lived there. I would go to the Ritz-Carlton’s DEQ Terrace & Lounge. DEQ had an outside terrace with comfortable couches and outdoor fireplaces.
In Miami, head to famous Collins Avenue and the Hotel Croydon. After lunch, Croydon’s patio is shaded and you can watch the craziness of Miami. That will give ideas for eccentric character descriptions!
The cliché choice is the coffee cafe. Many books are written in Starbucks! However, expand your coffee experiences by visiting independents or local chains.
In London (UK), I suggest the artisanal “Department of Coffee and Social Affairs.” They are a local chain, but the baristas are artists at their craft!
The last time in London (UK) while studying at Goldsmiths (University of London). I ate breakfast every day at the Blackbird Bakery. I took a book and my laptop. The talented baristas handcrafted my Americano. I have yet to find a better Americano anywhere in the world. It makes my mouth salivate thinking about their blueberry pancakes!
After reading literary works, I would open my laptop and write a couple of thousand words.
As in a library, surrounding yourself with millions of words is encouraging. Bookstores such as Chapters Indigo or Barnes and Noble have comfortable chairs to sit in. They create inviting environments you will not want to leave. Bookstores want you to relax and read a book’s first chapter (and buy it).
University Campus Goldsmiths (Quad pic)
Universities reek of wisdom! The professors and students collaborating to increase knowledge. Watch the students walking the hallways with their backpacks and textbooks. Finding a great quadrangle and get writing!
When you travel, try and find some of these locations to spice things up!
Or better yet, find new ones!
Christopher Oldcorn is a writer and journalist. He holds a BA in Psychology from Laurentian University, and a post-grad in Research Analysis from Georgian College. Christopher studied Journalism at The Centre for Investigative Journalism (Goldsmiths, University of London).