Create a Space for Writing

Create a Space for Writing

One of the most important aspects of sinking into your writing is having a good place to do so. Those who are already in the habit of writing everyday probably need this less than those who are not in the habit. But there is no need to worry nor is there anything to feel bad about. Just find a good space that allows you to feel creative as one of your first big steps to writing.


1.     Try a cafe / coffee house: Yes, this is a cliché, but I love it! Every single time I sit in a place with the background noise of coffee grinding and brewing and a barista's iPod on an Indie shuffle put me in the best mood. Oh, very much yes. Being able to sit with a bunch of strangers experiencing the same moments and being able to eavesdrop on conversations and people watch (every writer I know loves this more than real life) is writer nirvana. No place is more perfect than a cafe. Scope out your local coffee houses. My favorite place near my home is Riverside Coffee in Clinton, NJ. There's a new place called Factory Fuel in Flemington, NJ that looks beyond amazing. When I want to go on a pretty drive, I go to Lambertville to Rojo's. I can write for hours in these places. So many fantastic ideas come quickly and naturally. There are times I wish I lived next door to or above a coffee house (in my next home, I will make sure I do!). If you live in or near NYC, you have a plethora of places. My favorite is Think on LaGuardia near NYU. There is always Starbucks. It's a good go to when there isn't a good local place.


2.     Sit outside: I know it's getting colder in some areas, but if you can sit outside for at least 10-20 minutes comfortably, then by all means write while you do. You will convene with nature and quiet your mind enough to find the flow and inspiration to write. I love sitting by a river. The sound of water flowing is beyond relaxing. I love sitting in my yard and staring at the trees and sun, and then I'm able to write. When I'm writing in nature, I also feel really happy. It's a marriage of complete joy.


3.     Carve out a space in your home: If you're able to, decorate an extra bedroom the way you see fit and the way that inspires you. If you don't have the extra space, find a corner or a table and begin to make a place you want to be, a place where you feel at total ease and peace. My bed is actually my favorite place, especially in the colder months. I can be under a blanket with my journal, computer, tablet, phone and music just sprawled out all around me. I am relaxed and cozy when like this and am able to write from an inspired place. The only pitfall I've encountered is on rainy days. I just fall asleep, which is not at all bad thing. Getting enough rest fosters creativity as well.

The most important aspect of finding the best space is to be at ease. It really doesn't matter where you write as long as it feels amazing to you.

Happy writing!

Sometimes You Have to Hibernate

Monday Motivator: Sometimes You Have to Hibernate

Hole up. Say no. Read a book. Sit for hours writing, gardening, walking, meditating. Sometimes you need an extended time out for yourself. I like to consider it an emotional and spiritual hibernation. It's a necessity all of us need, but many don’t allow it. Let's change that!

We are a society of obligation. We must return those 2,000 emails, make all of those phone calls to friends and doctors and banks and schools, see family on our only day off, go to a movie you had no desire to see because it's your turn to take the backseat. We all do this and there is nothing wrong with any of it. It feels good to give and take care of business and clear up some of the space of thinking about what you have to do—accomplishment. But, I know I've said this before, when that is ALL there is, that's when the balance of health is shifted to the less than desirable side. That's when you need more time to yourself in order to evaluate what needs to happen.

I am emerging from one of these self-imposed hibernations. I have been fortunate enough to have completed my eleven years of teaching and to have the summer to recuperate. I have chosen to stay home often in order to write and reflect and regroup. Now that I've jumped and taken the gigantic leap to live life on my terms and to work the way that is in alignment with my core beliefs, I needed a big transition—the kind that you need to reevaluate your entire life and process all of the change. It’s an honoring of sorts. I also needed the time of not listening to the ideas of others too much and a place where I was not distracted constantly by the things of everyday life. In a way, it was my own version of a retreat except, it was done in my own home, on the couch in the living room, on the couch in the family room, in my bedroom away from the kids, with headphones and meditation recordings and favorite music, occasionally at the coffeehouse in town. No matter where it was, it involved my journal—always. That's the beauty of journaling and using writing as a therapeutic and meditative tool—it can happen any and everywhere.

I am aware that it is not always possible to have extended time to mostly hideout, but there are ways to take the time for you. You just have to find it. I have children, so my hibernation was only a partial hideout. I cannot, obviously, neglect the needs of my family, but I can certainly choose to do what is best for me as well. Now that I emerge from my recuperating period, I feel stronger, more capable to handle the outside world of other people's limiting beliefs. I have the inner-stamina to not internalize other people's crap and if I feel like it's too much, I always go within through writing. It saves me over and over.

Happy Monday and here's to our collective self-restoration! You've got this!