Some creative people require a certain type of space and specialized equipment to do their work by the nature of their medium – a metal sculptor for example might need a safe place for using welding equipment – but for many of us, the right creative space has a bit more leeway.
As a writer, I can work on my laptop just about anyplace! But given my druthers, I do have some preferences as to where I work. Personally, I like a quiet place alone, without disturbances or distractions in the background, not even music. But I’m flexible enough that I can work quite happily in an anonymous coffee shop as long as the background music is mellow. And I’m really happy when I can get an electrical outlet so I don’t have to worry about the battery on my laptop going out just as I hit a hot streak at the keyboard.
Worst case scenario, I can always sketch out a few notes or outline on whatever scrap of paper I can find in my pocket or purse, or call myself and leave a voicemail to record my latest critical flash of inspiration. Some writers keep an ongoing notebook for recording snippets of thought, inspirational quotes, snatches of conversation, character ideas, and so on. (I don’t, because I hate to feel weighed down carrying stuff with me so I am shooting for paperless as much as humanly possible.)
Do you keep a sketchbook, a journal, an inspiration box, a collection of images or evocative pieces… How do you capture your ideas and quick efforts?
Taking a spare minute or two for this kind of quick, catch as catch can working can be rewarding down the line and is a great way to make forward progress regardless of where you are and what else is going on in your life. (Need more ways to find time for your work?)
Where do you create best? What’s your version of perfect and what’s at the “it’ll do” level for you? Your honest bare minimum? I challenge you to look around and find out how you can improvise and, to echo Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, make it work!
Because after all, if not now, then when?