Blogtalk: Depending on Normal 6

WHEN I started Blogtalk a little over a month ago, I thought it would be a great way to get to know other bloggers, share our mutual wisdom with one another, and increase our social networking presence, all at once. Well, it is accomplishing all these things and more. What I didn’t realize was how much fun it would be to read other blogs and then use those topics as writing prompts.

This morning, I read Sharon Lippincott’s short blog post about depending on her laptop to write. She wondered if she was addicted to a particular set of circumstances in order to write and, if true, that was a good thing or not. Which got me to thinking about writing habits in particular.

A good many people report that they do their best journaling and creative writing in public places, preferring to take their notebooks or laptops to coffeehouses and restaurants, where they can write while sipping their lattes. Personally, if I’m in a public place, I’m too busy people watching to write! Other people like to put on some music to bring their muse out of hiding. For me, parked in front of my desk, keyboard under my fingers is best — particularly when I have the house to myself and it’s quiet.

Stephen King in On Writing reported that he writes best in his “transmitting place” — that is the special place in the house where he always writes. He also has a special place to read. He believes that having these habitual places to read and write helps us focus and be more productive. I tend to agree.

Sure, we can write under any circumstances if we want and/or need to. But in our comfortable, habitual place — public or private, light or dark — we will probably be our most prolific and creative. That said, it’s also good to send ourselves “on assignment” now and then to shake things up. Go sit in a mall and write descriptions about the people who walk by and conversations you overhear. Or go to the beach and write about the smells and the feel of the wind on your skin.

So is it a good thing to depend on normal? I think so. It’s also good to shake ourselves (or be shaken) out of our routines once in a while, just so we can see things from a different perspective.


Let’s keep the connections open! To participate in BlogTalk, write a post related to this topic and post it in your blog, with a link back to Writing Through Life. Or leave a comment below with a link to your blog. I’ll visit your blog for a future BlogTalk article.

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6 thoughts on “Blogtalk: Depending on Normal

  • Sharon Lippincott

    Thanks for the link Amber. I do generally find it easier to “get into flow” in a standard place. But I also benefit from a change of locale to break through to new ideas now and then. In retrospect, the loss of the laptop made it easy to take a break I needed anyway.

    I love this new blog you set up. Everything about it is tops, from the look of the site to the great info you share. Brava!

  • Archer Rae Bryan

    In regards to having a a place to write, once again you’ve struck a chord with me Amber.
    I have decided that the most perfect place for me to write is in the Observation car of a train! The movement, the scenery, the hushed but excited conversations, I was lulled and in that lull came inspiration.
    On that four hour train ride I wrote like I’ve never written before.
    As a chiled in the back seat of my parents car watching the landscape flow by- my mind was set free and my imagination would occupy me for hours.
    Who knows, maybe being a professional cross country train traveler will be my next career.
    In the meantime I write in starts and fits.

  • Marie E. LaConte

    I like the idea of sending myself on assignment! I’ve never done that, though I do take my laptop with me whenever I anticipate a few minutes for writing. On assignment… hmmm….

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Marie, thanks for the comment. Sending ourselves on assignment is fun and breaks up the routine. One thing I love to do (and don’t do enough) is go somewhere I can hear people talking (parks, coffee shops, malls, etc.) and record interesting dialog. Sometimes I’ll veer off onto my own thoughts, judgments, or philosophies that get keyed along the way.