This post originally appeared on the blog, “Writing on the Sunny Side,” when I was asked to guest post. I’m a regular blogger, but writing for someone else’s site…that was new to me. I realized that it’s good to change it up every once in awhile. As writers, we are always in danger of taking the comfortable route, following a format that we know, even letting our characters mirror each other from one book to the next.
It’s easy for me to create a blog for my own site. I can talk about my characters, upcoming projects, or include a recipe in my regular, “What’s Mia Making” column. But when I guest posted, I had to put extra thought into how to write for an entirely different audience. It felt scary and liberating all at once as I realized that I’m quite a creature of habit.
My writing place is my office with my dogs lying under my desk. Today, I ditched my computer and my office for an old-fashioned pen and writing pad. I said goodbye to my wi-fi and left to get my car brakes fixed. (I know, I lead an exciting life!)
I could’ve returned home, but I decided to hang out and try to write in their waiting room. Let me tell you something, in the forty-five minutes that I was there, I got more accomplished than I have in a long time. There was no incoming email to distract me, no temptation from Facebook or Twitter. Just me and a writing pad.
Was it comfortable there? Not at all. The coffee was warm at best and bland. The chairs were worn with suspicious stains. But, this waiting room also came with a new perspective and new faces. Seeing the people come and go, hearing tidbits of conversation…it sparked my imagination and I wrote in a way that I hadn’t in long time. I let the writing flow from me. I gave myself permission to break away from my outline as well as my habits.
You may relish your routine, but dare yourself to try something different. Changing it up is work and often scary, but it makes us better.