Writing from your home office can become boring and uninspiring at times. Since writing is a pleasurable experience – up to the editing part -, where you write can be much like the journeys your characters discover. That’s why if my brain no longer is participating in the writing process, I look for a new place to write. I have compiled a list of some great places to write if you need inspiration or just a getaway day.
Libraries are Great Places to Write
Libraries have always been a favored sanctuary for writers, offering an environment conducive to writing, access to an extensive range of resources, and a community of like-minded individuals. Many libraries also provide free Wi-Fi and computer access, which facilitates research and writing while on the go.
As a kid, I lived at the library as much as possible, so it’s only natural that this is the first place I seek refuge. There’s inspiration everywhere, and if you still can’t kick start your creativity, then take a break and read a book.
Coffee Shops are Great Places to Write
Coffee shops are a popular choice for writers seeking a change of scenery. They provide a warm, inviting ambiance, access to caffeine, and free Wi-Fi. For those in search of motivation, endeavor to locate a coffee shop with a distinct aesthetic or vibe that speaks to your soul. This is not my first choice because I find them too distracting, but it’s possible that I’ve never found the right coffee shop.
Museums offer an excellent alternative for writers who thrive on inspiration. They present a plethora of information and artifacts that can stimulate your imagination and assist in establishing your writing zone. Many museums also offer designated areas for writing, making them an ideal choice for those who require a serene space to work.
As a nonfiction writer, I tend to gravitate towards research. I can get lost down a rabbit hole for days, and the museum is just the right place to find facts and inspiration. I can’t say that I’ve ever written at a museum, but only because I don’t have but one near me, and I’ve written about it instead.
Parks are Great Places to Write
Parks provide a remarkable opportunity to engage with nature, which has always been a source of inspiration for writers. Whether you are seeking a serene spot to read or write, or you would like to take a break and admire the scenery, parks offer an excellent option.
Whenever possible, I like to take a notepad and write at a park picnic table. I’ve been doing this since I was about 11 or 12, and it’s still my favorite place to write. I find being outdoors freeing, and if I run out of words, I can people watch or in my case, watch the pelicans float on the river.
If you are fortunate enough to live close to a beach, it is a remarkable resource to seize! The sound of waves, the fragrance of salty air, and the sensation of sand between your toes can all contribute to a relaxed and creative writing atmosphere. I have tried to write on the beach, but that’s a no-go for me. Between the sand on the paper (yes, still pen and notebook when remote), suntan oil, and flopping around trying to get comfortable, I can’t do it. I can do it from the parking lot watching the ocean, and thousands and thousands of words have been written there in my car.
Co-working spaces are a splendid option for writers in need of a dedicated workspace without having to commit to a long-term lease. They offer an array of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, printing services, and access to meeting rooms. This is another place I can’t write. It’s like the coffee shop all over again, only with office machines and noisy co-workers.
I went full-time freelance to stop working with other people in my space, so I don’t seek this out. However, I know that many of my previous co-workers couldn’t work from home because they got bored and lonely, so this is perfect for them.
Bookstores are an additional exceptional choice for writers. They offer an extensive selection of books and resources to inspire your writing, as well as a quiet space to work. Some bookstores also host author events and writing workshops, providing additional opportunities for inspiration and growth.
I’ve always felt guilty about using the bookstores like a library, so I don’t sit and read at a bookstore. I seem to be overly cautious about not wanting to camp out in a bookstore, even when there are tables and comfy couches just for that purpose.
Community Centers are Great Places to Write
Community centers offer an ideal choice for writers who wish to connect with their local community. They provide a range of activities and events, including writing groups and classes, offering an opportunity to meet other writers and gain valuable feedback on your work. If my community center had a local writer’s meet-up, I would consider going. I don’t know that I would be able to work at a community center, but I know that it might be a good place to do some casual research on current topics for magazine articles.
Universities offer a treasure trove of resources for writers, including libraries, writing centers, and workshops. They frequently host readings and other events featuring prominent writers, providing an opportunity to connect with the writing community and gain inspiration from established authors. Like the museums, I don’t have a close university to hang out in, but I am sure that I could find a spot to curl up and write.
Art galleries can be a phenomenal source of inspiration for writers. They offer an array of visual art that can spark your creativity and inspire new ideas. Many galleries also provide designated writing spaces, making it effortless to locate a quiet spot to work.
I have not written anything art related, so I have not tried to write in an art gallery, but like the museum and university, I can see where it would be a good place to conduct research while educating myself on art.
Historic sites offer a glimpse into the past and can be a rich source of inspiration for writers. They frequently have designated writing spaces, making them an excellent choice for those who require a tranquil location to work. Like writing in the park, this offers a good place to pull up a picnic table and get your pen out.
I love to explore historic sites and spend a lot of time reading plaques and taking walks when I get to one. I have a passion for visiting all of the Civil War battlefields, and while I haven’t written about the war, I have spent time at a park bench quietly contemplating the actions of so many.
Nature Reserves are Great Places to Write
Nature reserves are a prime selection for writers who yearn to connect with nature and relish a peaceful environment. They present an array of hiking trails and opportunities to view wildlife, providing an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Having trekked over the mountains, hiking in Florida is not the same.
In fact, it’s hard to sit in a Florida nature reserve and write because we have lots of big mosquitoes. If there’s a mosquito, it will find me and bite me. On the other hand when I hiked in the Bridger Mountains around Bozeman, MT, I found many a place to sit down and jot my thoughts onto paper. It’s all in the environment.
Retreat centers provide a tranquil environment to work, away from the distractions of daily life. Many retreat centers offer writing residencies or workshops, providing an opportunity to connect with other writers and receive valuable feedback on your work. Like other organized activities, I am not very good at them.
I tend to wander off and seek an even quieter place to be, or my creativity gets so boxed up that a retreat only makes it worse. I do know many writers who thrive under retreat conditions and enjoy the opportunity to share their work and critique others.
Botanical Gardens and Zoos
Botanical gardens present a peaceful environment and an extensive array of plants and flowers that can inspire. Zoos are said to have been the inspiration for Dr. Seuss, so if you like to write at the garden or zoo, you’re in good company. Personally, if the botanical garden is outside, then I can find a place to sit at a bench and enjoy the flowers and trees, but if it’s in a greenhouse, I can’t sit still and enjoy it.
I find that zoos and gardens bring out the photographer in me more than the writer, but I know from experience that whenever I have photos of some place I’ve been, I will sit down and write about the experience.
No matter where you decide to write, if you find the inspiration to keep your story moving forward, then it’s the perfect spot for you.
If you found any of my tips useful, please feel free to comment below. I love comments! Sharing my post will help me keep this blog open. So, thank you for that.