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About Writing Right: The Blog


Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, if you're asking that question, you'd best ignore advice from wannabe "experts" who advise you to choose that "electric" spot, or opt for that "creative" locale, or choose the place that drives your creativity. Even though, offhand, I'd say that St. Lucia sounds nice. Or maybe Bermuda.


Ahh, but, let's get back to square one. If you're asking that question, I'm guessing you want to know where other writers like to write so that you might get some ideas for yourself. Yes, no, maybe so? Regardless, I have some very distinct opinions on the subject.


First, I like to write wherever there's a computer with a word-processing program loaded on it (preferably, MS Word for several reasons, but we won't get into that here). That's numero uno. Outside of that, my writing locale can be indoors or out, at home or away, in a hotel room (five-star, please, with some Moet Chandon chilling in the bucket) or on the beach.


I know that may sound confusing. But, here's the real deal. I don't have an obvious preference because I'm a professional writer of more than five decades' experience. When I was a kid just starting out as a wunderkind novelist of fourteen, I had to write at home in my own little "space." There was no alternative. That's where my inspiration lay. That was the only place for me that would do.


Once I grew up and took a couple of jobs reporting and, later, editing for pay, I learned I didn't need my "little space" anymore. I trained myself to concentrate on the task at hand, and as long as I had a keyboard in front of me, I was good to go.


My best guess is that all true professionals feel about the best places to write in about the same way I do. The exception would be for the ersatz professionals, or the few prima donnas who insist on the "right setting" for their inspiration. But, that's simply because they haven't trained themselves to be real writers—or, better yet, they haven't been trained by real writers. Throw them an assignment that's not in their "wheelhouse," and they'll either pass on or flub it. Throw one my way, and I guarantee I've been there, done that, and can do it again. That's the difference between a prima donna and a real writer.


Hollywood is filled with tales of writers who can write only in specific places, and so is literature. Unfortunately, that notion is contagious. The real world jumps on the bandwagon, and writers think intuitively that writing takes place only where inspiration dwells. Well, I have a tip for you: Inspiration dwells in your brain, and the ability to translate it to the written page comes with experience, training, and diligence. nothing more and nothing less.


And, while limited-experience writers who demand certain places to create are certainly entitled to their own little world, as for me? I'll stick with my much larger one. And feel a lot better about it in the long run.

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D. J. Herda is author of the new ebook series of writing advice, About Writing Right, available at Amazon and at fine booksellers everywhere.

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