Who wouldn’t agree that a great writing escape is anywhere that frees your mind and the creative juices? Conventional wisdom dictates that such a place must be breathtakingly beautiful — if not cradled in the bosom of Mother Nature, then situated at the foot of some architectural wonder.
Such elements are part of the ideal great escape for many writers, especially those who contend that pinning thoughts to paper (or computer screen) is a lonely job requiring solitude and serenity, without distractions or outside pressures. When it’s just you, your thoughts, and your writing tools, Zen happens. … Or does it?
• Beside a persistently ringing telephone
• In a crowded newsroom
• Amid a chorus of cursing co-workers
• Under the scrutiny of an impatient boss
• Over a warm Coke
• Against all odds
• On deadline
I’ve always drawn energy and inspiration from crowds. As an anonymous spectator with no ties to the activities swirling around me, I am free to withdraw deep into my own head, where I can explore notions, ideas, plots, and funny little paths that reveal themselves under no other circumstances. When I’m by myself at home with noise-producing devices turned off, my muse tends to go AWOL and random thoughts start running amok. I may start to fixate on the unmade bed and the stack of dishes in the kitchen sink, or I’ll give in to the pull of the Internet. When that happens, needless to say, little writing gets done.
As contemporary author/activist Cory Doctorow once said, “Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.”
While Doctorow’s statement summarizes my point exactly, I don’t want to leave the impression that my way is the only way. Every writer eventually identifies his or her ideal “great escape” — the physical location or condition under which optimum productivity is possible. That ideal may well be set amid a swirl of chaos, but it’s also as likely to be a lovely place that epitomizes serenity.
When you find your ideal great escape, I urge you to relish it, make it work for you, and go there whenever you must. Conversely, don’t lose sight that your great escape has absolutely nothing to do with what surrounds you.
It’s all about what lies within.
* * *
While you’re here, I invite you to escape into the first chapter of Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies by clicking the Preview tab above (or click here). If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Also … please use the comments form below to tell me about your favorite escape—the ideal location or circumstance that turns on the spigot to your creative juices and lets them flow.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you come back often. — Janis