Screenwriting : Places to write. by Benjamin James Turner

Benjamin James Turner

Places to write.

I'm curious if anyone out there has had any luck getting some serious writing done in a location outside of the home/office? I ask because I have never been able to. Sometimes when I am going stir crazy and can't be in the house any longer I fall into the trap of trying to write in a cafe but it has always been an unproductive and frustrating experience. What locations or venues have others found to be productive, if any?

Phil Clarke

I agree. Writing in public places is too distracting for me. I need as close to complete silence.

Lisa Clemens

Library or in warm weather, a quiet park or even my back yard.

Tommy Nelson

I have friends that do their best writing at Starbucks. I've never been able to. It's too distracting for me. I need to be alone and in a quiet place. When I'm simply brainstorming or in the outline stage however, I do tend to linger around busy places like the mall or the park and people watch.

Michael T Antonucci

I like the public library.

Benjamin James Turner

Ha, the car is an interesting one. I've tried the library but my local one is really drab and reminds me of high school, not a feeling that inspires a productive work ethic within me. Starbucks or any venue that plays music on a loop is definitely out of the question but I agree that in the early exploratory stages of an idea it can be helpful to be somewhere you can observe people. Ultimately what has worked best for me is to take a break from the house and return later.

Phil Dyer

There is a great group called "Shut Up and Write." Several of us meet in a cafe and quietly write for an hour or as long as eight hours during a marathon event. It's a much more productive environment than just writing alone in a cafe. The group is social before and after the writing time, but when writing, everyone is quiet and working. If there's a group like that in your area, I recommend it.

Jeffrey Kraynak

I have to be at home with some instrumental music playing (my mind wanders too much in silence). I tried going to Central Park (with instrumental music on my iPod) because I know a quiet little spot there, but even that spot turned out to be too distracting and was a failed experiment.

Phil Dyer

You can search on for "Shut Up and Write" or any local writer groups that might know about good places for people to write together.

Felipe Grossi Togni

I like using the café for crowding and reviews... LOL

Mark ONeill

I've done better by taking planned, short breaks - but primarily writing at home.

Terence L Taylor

Sometimes it's good to have an outlet by having someone on chat that you can have a communication break with but will help you stay focused.

Rob Parnell

When I had problem with a former partner over writing at home I used to write in cafes, pubs and libraries. To be honest I got really tired of people constantly coming up to me and asking "R U a writer?" Like, duh!

Paul Timmerman

Go to a friends house. Someone who doesn't have kids and doesn't listen to loud music all day.

Sahera Chohan

Cafes work for me; I cannot write at home as it's too quiet, and somehow the buzz of chat and music helps me to tune into my writing and adds a creative spark. If I write in silence, it's too noisy!

Tahiera Monique Brown

Benjamin, I've gotten a hotel rooms in locations that has beautiful views of ocean fronts or landscapes that allows me visual stimulation so I can be removed from my everyday life and I let the creative brain work begin.

Allison Bruning

I just love writing on my MacBook Pro, Martyn.

Victoria Rose Sampson

Yes, if you're in the Valley or near the Valley (in Los Angeles) , Pilar Allessandra is renting out her writing studio (she's a great teacher by the way) you can contact her at

Jeffrey Kraynak

I was just in the Isle of Skye (my favorite part of Scotland) with my brother. We were talking about how amazing it would be to own a little place there.

Rexi T Jones

i go to the balcony area of my schools theater,no one shows up its a place that reminds me of creativity and its reallly close to a large window meant to let the sun light the whole performance hall lobby

D. E. Jackson


Karen Keslen

I get ideas in everywhere, but I am productive and writing just in my home. I don't feel good writing in some where else.

Joshua Lee Andrew Jones

Sometimes I'll grab a notebook and go to my library. They have some rustic study rooms so I hunker down and write 10-15 pages by hand. It slows the process and makes me think about every word. Then I transcribe a day later with fresher eyes that allow me to to revise. Plus, going to the library makes me work since I can't have my attention diverted. Should also have mentioned I don't take my phone.

Victoria Rose Sampson

Good idea!

Yvonne Coughlan

I often go to a hotel and spend the day working, it's a great treat to have someone at hand to feed me and bring me coffee, even if they do think I'm odd to sit there writing all day. Cafe's tend to want you to be gone too soon, but hotels don't take that much notice, I guess they are more used to wierdos. I'm good at tuning out distraction, except for the odd person who decides I must be there to chat up other random wierdos, but even then I enjoy writing a new character description or sensation from the experience that goes in the 'you'd never know when you'd need it' file. Ah life, ya gots ta love it.

Phil Dyer

You raise a good point, Jacqueline, about clogging up cafes. When we meet at a cafe, we request that all of our participants buy food and drinks there. When we do a marathon session, we all pre-order our lunches from them as well. We also discuss everything with the cafe manager before scheduling an event there to make sure he/she wants us to be there. If you schedule a meetup like this, I encourage you to do it this way as well to make sure everybody's happy with the arrangement.

Rachel Metzger

I work a full-time job, and my home office is my work place. I find I need to separate the two -- my work space and work laptop are tainted with negative feelings, so I just bought a new Surface Pro, and it's now my "personal goals" device. I write in pubs, coffee shops, the car, during my lunch break...which encompasses all of the above : ) ... anywhere and any time I can steal a few minutes. I almost HAVE to get outside of my home/office to write. (Or am I using that as an excuse?)

Kamala Lane

I write in the library when I can't take my apartment anymore. I can't do the cafe or pub thing because I can't concentrate with music playing. Sometimes I also need a break from being on a computer so I'll usually write notes or outline a scene longhand.

Rachel Metzger

I like noisy places because it actually helps me to concentrate. When it's quiet I'm too distracted by my own mind and all its voices. (Maybe I shouldn't admit that...)

Christina M Smith

I feel just going out and experiencing things helps and I use my trusty record to record any thoughts words ideas that come to mind. I am always improving on something I had been writing for awhile just by looking around. It's hard to find a particular place because there re so many and so many distractions out there. Sometimes the beach if you have it the sound of the waves crashing on shore or on one another. the toot of the boat's horn the birds flying . Or even a quiet stream helps relax the mind. Looking into the distance or just into that stream, all the air particles in the water the little minnow swimming or a baby crab trying to find a bite to eat. But maybe the beach or stream is not for you maybe the mountain tops or a hammock in the woods.

Janet Scott

Randall, I think you would look good in a toga....

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