#5OnFri: Five Places to Write Yourself Out of a Funk

by Diane DeMasi
published in Writing

We all get in funks while writing. When we hit one it’s like a fire slowly dying, deprived of oxygen. When we sit at the same location day after day, it can close in and suffocate the fresh air that tickles our brains and revives our senses.

One of the best ways to recharge your creativity is to leave your stale desk behind. Grab your portable writing tool, whether it’s your trusty laptop or your most exquisite fountain pen and notebook, and try one of these locations to rekindle the embers.

Five Fantastic Places to Write Yourself Out of a Funk

1) An Outdoor Café in an Urban Environment

Or any outdoor food or drink place where many people pass by. Go where you rarely go. See people you never see. Sit back and enjoy your latte and croissant. Inhale the scents of the environment passing you by: the elderly lady whose perfume has soured, the exhaust of the booming car crawling up the street, the smell of the homeless man and his dog strolling by. Ask questions about each individual. Did the woman pull out the old perfume because it’s her husband’s favorite and they’re celebrating their 50th anniversary? Is the booming car taking an abducted person to a faraway place, the noise securing muffled cries for help? Is the homeless man really homeless? Or is he a millionaire trying to dupe his nephews into believing he has no money left, to see which one loves him no matter his financial situation?

2) An Author Reading

Wherever this reading may take place, whether in a bookstore, a library or, a bar, go and listen. Most readings aren’t just a read and sign; the author will usually answer questions. There is something encouraging about listening to a fellow writer tell how his or her book came to be, hearing about the tiny idea seed that blossomed into a full-length novel.

Get lost in the moment; write down the questions the people ask, the excitement of the participants, and the attitude of the author. What will your audience be like? Would they identify with your main character? Is there one that may sympathize with your antagonist?

3) A Campfire

Nothing brings out our adventurous side quite like the deep purple haze when dusk turns to night. Where shadows dance off the fire’s crackling flames. Where the whiff of smoke mixed with the clear night air kindles ideas of mystery, adventure, and intrigue. Begging for you to write them in your notebook.

The best bonus here is that s’mores have been known to provide fuel for your creative fire. (I’m sure that’s a real truth somewhere).

4) A Local Street Fair

Who hasn’t walked through a street fair and been aroused by the tantalizing scents of fried elephant ears, butter-drenched corn, and sweet watermelon? Or been dazzled by the colors of handmade pottery, jewelry, dolls and flowers? Or delighted in the sounds of a local folk band’s banjo twang?

Street fairs awaken all our senses. When we are fully immersed, our creative sides overflow with ideas.

5) A Lake

Any sized lake in any season will do.  In the summer picnics and barbecues, kids splashing, the dogs shaking water from their fur, all provide a sense that life is fresh and fun. Spring brings the hope of renewal with each new blossom. Fall brings eerie sights as waves ripple brown leaves across water, and you stare waiting for something to arise from the depths. But winter may be the best of all: when the lake is forgotten and the wind ravages the trees, rolling the waters.

These are all places I’ve sat with pen and paper, capturing every thought that crossed my mind. Each time the project I’m working on benefits as I break through the stagnant barrier.

What new, maybe even unusual places, have fueled your creativity?

20141017_085016Diane DeMasi lives in the state of Washington where the overcast skies  and her over-active imagination fuel dark stories. To this day she still believes the only reason her father-in-law admits to using the motorized carts in Lowes is because they are super powerful and he and the other men joust with dowels over the last piece of teak wood. She shares creepy pictures, creepy stories, heartfelt stories, and funny moments on her Facebook page (and she’s always interested in hearing more, so swing by and share).

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