Be Honest. What’s the Strangest Place Where You’ve Written?

Writers manage to write in the strangest of places, using whatever materials are handy. It could be a drink napkin at a restaurant or bar, a few sheets of toilet paper when nothing else is handy, the side of a supermarket grocery bag (excellent writing surface, by the way.)

I enjoy bar napkins, small square pieces that unfold into something larger. You have to be gentle with your own pressure (fountain pens won’t work), and don’t spill any liquid onto the surface or forever lose your genius.

I wrote many of the entries from my non-fiction book Signs You May Not Be An Idiot on napkins.

The car is by far one of my favorites. Contained, private, distraction free, and yet with a sense of being in motion. It’s very conducive to writing so long as you have a hard surface and a decent pen that won’t run out of ink. I mention the latter because I’m a fountain pen user and that happened to me. I now keep extra ink cartridges in the glove box.

But I’m not alone. Gertrude Stein would do the same, her way to avoid shopping.

A few years back I made a short series of video editorials (Bits N Pieces) for a California blog site while belted in my parked car.

Many authors enjoy hotel rooms, although I find the urge to leave the room quite a distraction. Maya Angelou enjoyed them.

One author enjoyed writing from a coffin. Dame Edith Sitwell, a British poet and critic, would lie in a coffin for inspiration before beginning the writing at hand.

John le Carre wrote while riding the train. He was an MI5 officer traveling between posts, and managed to complete the novel Call for the Dead.

A contemporary bestselling author, Mike Wells completed his first novel during an hour train commute to and from work.

Agatha Christie wrote in the tub!

D.H. Lawrence enjoyed the company of trees, leaning against them to write.

I guess it doesn’t matter where you write so long as you manage to get words out. And that’s the million-dollar trick, isn’t it?

But where is the strangest place you’ve ever written?

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2 Comments

  1. This is funny. I make lots of notes about my stories while on the toilet. It’s a quiet place, away from my children and animals.

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