Get Out and Write (Somewhere Different)

Many writers have a certain ritual they use to connect with their muse and get the creative juices flowing. That often includes a set space to work. But a recent tour of local coworking spaces showed me, sometimes you just need to get out and write somewhere different.

It was a snowy, icy morning when I packed up my laptop and headed south. Winter storm warnings were on all the radio stations. Kids were gleefully staying home from school. And I was on the road.

My day consisted of visits to two local coworking shops: The Back Office Studio in Ypsilanti and Workantile in Ann Arbor. The reason for the visits was to connect with the owners of these spaces and compare what they were doing to my own coworking space, the PatchWork Collective in Ferndale. But to do that I needed to do some work, so of course, that meant writing.

Get Out and Meet Someone Who Inspires You

Find someone who inspires you to write.
Legal Linguist Lisa Schmidt meets with John Newman and Sun Chao at The Back Office Studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

To start, I met with John Newman and Sun Chao at The Back Office Studio in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This duo had just opened their coworking space and were full of that new-business-owner energy. Their space was crisp and beautiful, and their connection to some of the local schools is really quite smart. It was great to hear their ideas, and discuss some of our shared struggles.

I walked out of The Back Office Studio totally inspired. Not only did I want to share our selfie all over social media, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. By getting out of the office I was able to connect with new entrepreneurs and get a fresh look at my work.

Writing Somewhere New May Mean Managing Distractions

Next, I headed to Workantile in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bad roads and my lengthy discussion with the Back Office pair meant I got there close to lunch time, ready to write. But some of the maintaining members had other ideas of how to spend the 12:00 hour.

Working Somewhere Else Can Mean Managing Distractions
Maintaining members at Workantile in Ann Arbor, Michigan get to work of a different kind: a jigsaw puzzle!

It wasn’t entirely a bad thing. I got to meet several of the maintaining members of this co-op coworking space, and share some of our respective “geeky” interests. Then when lunch was over, everyone tacitly agreed to get back to work.

The experience reminded me that so many times when you get out and write somewhere different you will need to make adjustments to how things are always done. Just because I will happily write through lunch doesn’t mean I can expect those around me to minimize distractions. When you take your writing on the road, you need to be prepared to manage your own work ethic.

Finding a New Place to Write Can Beat Writer’s Block

Still, relocating can be a great way to break out of ruts and beat pesky writer’s block. By exposing yourself to something new and different you (1) find new topics to write about and (2) interrupt the patterns in your brain that can sometimes leave you writing the same old thing.

As I wrap up this post, I’m still sitting next to the half-finished puzzle at Workantile and thinking about my meeting at The Back Office Studio. Rather than obsessing over which nuance of legal blogging I can focus on this time, I’ve flown through a post that is relevant and still new.

If you find yourself facing a brick wall in your writing, get out and write somewhere different. You could find it opens up new opportunities and new channels of thought you had never considered before.

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