The Overlook Hotel

Sorry that this week’s post is a day late. Spending most of the weekend up at the cottage has messed up my routine. Plus, there was a pretty good hockey game on last night (Go Sens Go!) Anyhow, on with the post…

I have a Facebook friend who sends out a note every now and then asking if anyone has a secluded cabin in the woods that he can rent so he can do some writing. I have often thought that this would be my optimal writing locale. It’s quiet with lots of beautiful nature to reflect on life and generate wonderful ideas, and I am unlikely to have access to the internet – at least not on anything but my cell phone (which is easy enough to ignore because it’s slow and such a small screen).

As it turns out, I am not in a position to just take off for a couple months and write a book. My day-to-day existence requires me to wear a few hats: father, husband, project manager, friend, son, brother, cousin… writer. As a result, most of my writing happens on my couch in my living room, which works well enough but is far from what I would consider ideal. If I really want to buckle down I’ll go sit in the big chair in the bedroom. I suppose I could go to a local coffee shop or a park if the weather is nice – or anywhere that has a bench to sit on for that matter. Ultimately, those all seem like a lot of a hassle for only a little gain. 

Of all of my realistic options the only one that seems to guarantee a good spurt of words is the chair in the bedroom with some white noise blaring through some headphones and my wifi turned off. This is what leads me to believe that a secluded cabin might just be my ideal writing spot. Of course everyone is different and there are many other options that could work. Are any of these on your list?

  • Beach house surrounded by gulls and waves and a light breeze
  • Leather chair surrounded by mahogany and walls of books
  • Bean bag chair, tattered note pad, and that old pen that should have run out of ink years ago

Wherever it is, whatever you prefer, is there a specific place or setting that gets the words flowing better than any other?

On the other side of that coin are the things that take a productive writing session and throw it right in the crapper. For me, this is a list that’s probably a wee bit too long. In no particular order (and sadly, nowhere close to exhaustive):

  • An Stanley Cup playoff hockey game
  • A golf tournament where Tiger Woods in in contention
  • Someone mentioning me on Twitter
  • The Internet
  • Shiny objects
You can see now why I think a cabin in the woods is my ideal writing spot. Realistically it could be any place where I am as far away as possible from anything on that list. That being said, regardless of your circumstance and location one thing is certain: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 

~ Andrew

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