Take Control of your Environment

 Let me start out by saying that I disagree with the whole concept of completely closing yourself off from anything other than your monitor. There are a lot of so-called experts who say that writers should be closed off from the world around them while writing – going as far as to close the drapes on a window because someone walking by outside can be a distraction. I don’t want to sound cruel, but if someone can’t focus enough to keep from being distracted by someone walking by outside, then they need practice.

In the long term, closing yourself off from the world will completely destroy your ability to write anything that is the least bit entertaining or realistic. Writers draw from the world around them. Do you want your words to be the equivalent of a walled up room or would you rather that your words contain the emotion and brilliance of the world around you?

Changing your surroundings is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal so I encourage you to find inspirational places to write – places that are aesthetically pleasing or that move you. Here are a few examples:

Choose a Second Location in your Home

Okay, so you have your main writing space. Now find another in your home. You may have to create one. Maybe it’s in the corner of your living room? Maybe in the den next to the fireplace? The idea is to change things up from time-to-time and not get locked in on a single frame of mind.

I personally love to sit outside on a lovely day.


I find that being surrounded by some of the greatest literary works in history is quite inspirational. I try and spend at least one day every month at the library. It’s one of the methods that I use to take control over my inspiration.

Furthermore, if you need to research something for your book then you’re in the perfect place. There are a lot of advantages to writing at the library.

Coffee House

Although this fact can be argued either way, I’m definitely an advocate of writing in a coffee house. I’m not the only one. Lots of authors write from coffee houses and are very productive. Although you might not be as productive here than another location (like a library), you will promote inspiration. Let me explain.

There’s something about the smell and environment that offers inspiration. However, that’s not the main reason that writers choose a coffee house. Observation is a key tool used by writers. Observing different people’s behaviors and listening in on random conversations are essential to creating realistic characters in a book. Seeing how the host/hostess reacts to a rude customer or how they act to an overly polite customer are but two examples of a normal observation one might overhear at a coffee house. Observation is the real reason why a coffee house is such a popular choice. Also, it’s good practice for learning to focus.

These are just three of the possibilities. Use your imagination to find more or just stick with these. Just remember that you still have set and achieve goals. Don’t let your environment become too much of a distraction.