Even the most creative of minds need to be nourished with inspiration and new ideas to bring out their best performances – so it should go without saying that any author in pursuit of input will, if only occasionally, have to venture out of the confines of their own home or regular workspace in search of that special inspirational infusion to get their creative juices flowing.
The sparking idea for a tricky plot might be waiting just around the corner, and for many a bestseller was written in surroundings far from their author’s writing desk. Many professional writers rely on a cherished writing hotspot, a home-away-from-home, so to speak, that brings everything to the table and will serve them ideas on a silver platter even if their muse decided to take a well-deserved break. Yet these places do not always simply reveal themselves as the obvious choice, so especially new authors might still find themselves on a quest to their very own favorite writing place where ideas will be floating in the air, ready to be picked like ripe fruit.
But fear not, we at novum publishing decided to investigate further and came up to collect our top 5 writing hotspots for authors, ready to be tried out at your convenience!
1.) Typing away at a cozy café
Most probably the all-time favorite and classic choice, a more or less secluded spot at a cozy café in your neighborhood might be a most obvious and ideal choice to sit down and type away. With your favorite coffee (or tea!) at your disposal you can get lost for hours on end, utterly immersing yourself in your story with the added bonus of your trusted waiter or waitress discreetly refilling your cup to your liking (and perhaps kindly asking whether you would like a small snack, lest you get so caught up in your work that you forget to eat altogether).
Another great aspect of writing at a café is, indisputably, the great opportunity for people-watching. Oftentimes real life does write the best of stories, after all, or great stories can be crafted from some pretty solid real-life inspiration.
A most famous example for a successful author who finds nothing but praise for the café as a writing cornucopia is none other than J.K. Rowling. The writer famously started writing her wildly successful ‘Harry Potter‘ series in a small café, namely the Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland. The now legendary café is proudly wearing the title of ‘the birthplace of Harry Potter’ – who knows, stop by, get inspired, and maybe this will not be the only bestseller to emerge from there!
Another famed European writer’s hotspot is the café La Rotonde in Paris, France. The charming little bohemian café was host to many famous regulars such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Elliott and Pablo Picasso. F. Scott Fitzgerald would turn many days into nights writing there, seamlessly changing from coffee to cocktails in the roaring 1920s. The place remains a hotspot for creatives until today, so if you find yourself on vacation do not miss out on taking in these famous surroundings, who knows what ideas they will bring?
2.) Venturing into the great (and small!) outdoors – literally!
Sometimes, when urban life gets to stuffy and limiting and even the most inventive of minds becomes a little foggy, the best remedy is to just get out and about in the outdoors. By exchanging the grey and often monotonous tapestry of the city for the lush and colorful canvas of nature, both your psychological and creative batteries can recharge.
Taking a walk in an idyllic forest and setting yourself up on a sun-flooded meadow is not only a healing experience in and of itself – but listening to the whispers of nature might bring you the ideas you could not make out among the noises of the big city. If venturing too deep into the woods is not for you, exploring a greener scenery on a smaller scale might already do the trick. Be it a little spot on a bench in a pretty park near you or setting yourself up in a shady spot leaning against the trunk of your favorite tree in your parent’s garden or strolling through a hothouse – any degree of greenery can do wonders for creative writing.
Try it out: take a picnic blanket, fill your basket with some fresh lemonade and sandwiches, bring your laptop with you and turn the next picnic into a writing experience!
3.) Conquering Creative Co-Working Spaces
In a time and age where Social Media and Blogs reign supreme, with freelancers and fresh and hopeful startup businesses on the rise all around, co-working spaces have become all the rage. These inspirational hubs are a great spot to focus on your plot or characters, as they do not only offer you the professional environment of an office away from home, thus prompting you out of your PJs while still being a little more relaxed on the dresscode – what’s more is that by providing a flexible shared workplace at a low cost, you can profit from a high level of flexibility. Naturally, these co-working spaces often have a certain rate of fluctuation going on, as you can in some cases choose to rent out a desk for days, weeks or months at your convenience. So, either if you choose to change your location or settle down for a creative hub of your choice, you will never lack for inspiring company and heads from all kinds of professions to share your thoughts with, expanding your creative horizon while making new friends and acquaintances.
To find a co-working space near you, you must not look far – most spaces or creatives are actively seeking new coworkers to rent out space, and there are several sites on the web dedicated to making fabulous co-working matches.
4.) Travelling texts and Authors Ahoy! – Writing in faraway places
Few things shape us – and our writing! – like travelling does. Many people go on journeys abroad or all across the globe, to find themselves, and authors and writers are no exception to the rule. No matter if they are actively seeking inspiration for a book or plot set in a specific place and doing research, or if they happen to be travelling for fun and then stumble upon the idea of their literary lives; travelling has been known to make new authors as well as knocking down even the most stubborn of writing blocks.
Seasoned writers never leave for any place without their notebooks or laptops, and really, inspiration is lurking everywhere. You might wander aimlessly around, not knowing that you are ambushed and ready to be kissed by your muse at any second. Be it while sitting on a train, waiting at a lively airport or relaxing at a hotel. The lobby of a hotel, for example, is always an exciting place to be, as you can indulge in lengthy bouts of people watching and gather many ideas in the process.
For exceptionally mission-driven writers, there are travel companies and writing clubs offering special writing retreats for authors of different stages. On these retreats, as opposed to writing conferences and classes where you can learn much about the theory of writing, yet hardly get any work done, the singular focus is on the process of writing itself. There are various types of retreats, so you will excuse us if we do not list every single one of them in particular. The easiest way to finding those retreats is by commanding a simple Google Search or by scanning the back pages of writing magazines, such as Poets & Writers magazine. A much-revered retreat we would like to mention is Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.: attracting the very best of writers. To give an example, Yaddo artists have won over 70 Pulitzer prizes among others!
5.) Mustering real Mastery: Browsing an Art Gallery or Library
Inspiration can be drawn from everywhere, yet it is often the great artists that touch us profoundly and make us want to delve into creative waters ourselves. So, naturally, when on the hunt for new ideas, where better to find inspiration than by other great artists and writers?
New authors on the lookout for creative nourishment should definitely take some time to learn from the masters, and it does not necessarily have to be another writer’s opus who lends wings to your own ideas! Brushstrokes can inspire as well as any letter, so we highly recommend venturing into an art gallery of your choice to admire the works of painters and sculptors alike, and see how it might help your own story to unfold.
A visit to your local library should, of course, also be a given – as well as browsing of the works of writers that you admire on the regular. Reading an especially witty turn of phrase by your literary idol might help you crack a tough nut of your own, or simply offer a new perspective when you feel stuck.
Of course, this list is by no means extensive and there is no single ‘right’ place to write for all of us. Wether you already have found your happy place or are still looking for it – we at novum publishing hope that we could give you a little input to lean on! Also, as we are infinitely curious ourselves, please let us know if we missed the best spots yet or share your favorite writing spot with us! 🙂
Let your keyboard run free,