To the everyday reader a place to write may not seem that important. As long as you can get access to your laptop, pen/paper, tree bark or whatever your media of choice is you should be able to write… right? Well.. it’s not that easy for some of us and while most of us can indeed write anywhere, anytime having the right atmosphere and particularly in the right place can be a huge creative bonus that cannot be appreciated by most readers.
A case in point, and what triggered this post, was attempting to kick off a review with that all important first sentence and paragraph.. the hook that either reels us in or sends us running to another article. To say I was struggling was an understatement and I do admit to not really struggling much when it comes to writing. While I have suffered the dreaded “writer’s block” it’s been rare and in most cases my problem is cutting down on the verbiage so I can turn in a word count that won’t seem like pulling teeth to read. This time was different though. The app being reviewed was great… no problems there… but how to start… what to say. I sat in my studio at my work desk and played with the words like a kid picking through an unwanted meal. There was a lot of sighing and probably some weeping and gnashing of teeth so I grabbed my laptop and went outside.
Low and behold it was the hottest time of the day but I had just the spot. Under a huge tree where the shade was thinning the grass out we built two decks, inserted a bridge and added walkways to break up the yard. Bear with me… I have a reason for this detour. It’s not finished as we still have a dry stream bed to build around the tree and under the bridge. As a temporary measure I put two old but comfortable wicker chairs there with a little table and went on about finishing other projects. Today was the perfect time to try it out so with my laptop, a glass of iced tea and… of course… my tunes I sat down and attempted to get started on the piece that was vexing me so much.
Amazingly… twenty to thirty minutes later I had the first four paragraphs written and the rest of article laid out in terms of how to produce it. For me it was simply the change in atmosphere that triggered my creative juices… or at least I think it was. All I know is I was struggling to get the first sentence written inside my studio but outside (in a different atmosphere) the words flowed like water and once again I was typing like Mark Twain on meth based steroids struggling to cut back the words so they wouldn’t hurt anyone’s head.
One more thing I cannot stress too much is the calming effect of running water which is why I have two ponds each with a waterfall. Both are homemade projects and nothing fancy but they allow me to hear flowing water almost everywhere in my backyard. For me that’s real relaxation for others it might be other items like a contemplative sand garden or vegetable garden to enhance the view and stimulate the senses a bit.
I have more than one place to write in my backyard… a cabana, an outdoor table area on the studio front deck and even in the little greenhouse if need be. This particular little spot made a real difference for this writer so those of you that think we’re odd, and we’ll give you that as we are odd, because we need special place(s) to do our thing just back off and deal with it otherwise we might go all Cujo on you!