I've just returned home from a lovely family holiday. It's fantastic to get away and switch off from copywriting...and everything else.
Well, almost everything. If I'm being honest, I didn't ignore work completely. As well as checking on my emails a couple of times during the course of the week, I made a couple of minor adjustments to my website and portfolio. Nothing too demanding.
However, these small tasks did get me thinking, about where and when I prefer to write. Everyone has their own place, or places, where they do their best work. While some people complete peace and quiet, others are more productive when there is some activity around them.
Here are my favourites:
An obvious place to start. I don't have any business premises and I don't intend on having any in future, so most of my work will be at home. Thanks to my darling kids, I don't even have an office or study in the house. Maybe one day.
That said, wherever I am within my home, being creative never seems to be an issue. Whether I'm at the dining table, on the couch or even sitting in bed, writing comes easily. Which is lucky, given how much time I spend there. If the radio or some other music is heard in the background, even better.
Yeah, I know, my garden is still part of my family home. But it's different. Being out in the fresh air, particularly on a lovely summer's day, is a completely different experience.
Even if it's only a couple of hundred words, I love sitting with my laptop on the bench in the garden. Sure, the sun glare can be an issue for the screen, as can the warm rays coming down on my 'short' hairstyle, but these are easily overcome.
Now, let me qualify this one. I'm don't mean sitting in a tropical paradise, scribbling away on an A3 notepad while sipping an exotic drinking under a palm tree.
No, I'm talking a lot more, well, local. A couple of times, while in the north of Scotland, I've found myself with some time to myself as the kids were otherwise occupied. Rather than picking up a book, I've taken the opportunity to fit in some writing. The sound of the waves, the sea breeze and the quiet make for some productive work. While the tide is out, of course.
Back indoors for an obvious choice. The quiet, particularly during school hours, along with the available PC's and reference books make the library one of my favourite places – and not just for writing.
I also feel it's important that I make a point of visiting my local libraries as often as possible. The closure of some and the reduction in opening hours of others is a tragedy. For some, the library is the starting point for an education or career. For others, it's a meeting place and a place to have contact with the outside world. Rant over.
So, that's where I like to write. However, there are a couple of other places where I feel that I'm less productive.
The bus and the underground are a no from the off – there just isn't enough space. While I don't use trains as often as I used to, when I do I often see people working away while sitting at a table.
Perhaps it says more about my concentration levels, but it's not for me. There's too much going on around me. People leaving or boarding the train, checking which stop we're at and people chatting to each other or on their phones. I admire people who manage to make the most of their time during their journey but I'm not one of them.
I don't like coffee, which helps with this one. Though I do enjoy a hot chocolate with fresh cream (hold the marshmallows). Coffee shops are, for me, one of those places where the idea is better than the reality. Sitting inside on a cold or wet day, typing away while sipping a hot drink sounds great.
But it's not. The tables are often small and I'm more concerned about spilling my drink than drafting a glorious piece of copy. There's the noise of coffee machines as well as cups and saucers coming into contact with each other. And don't get me started on the smell of coffee...