A Change of Scenery

So, this week is my university’s spring vacation, and I decided to make the 17-hour drive back to Massachusetts for break. I was worried that because I wasn’t at my apartment with campus and all of its impending responsibilities looming a few miles away, I wouldn’t be nearly as productive. But I’m on day two of break now and have already discovered that I can, in fact, be very productive while staying at my parents’ house. School responsibilities aside, I’ve gotten more writing and reading (because yes, reading counts as work-ish when you’re a writer) than I usually do over weekends at my place.

While I don’t think it’s necessary, there is something to be said for a change of scenery. You hear about some writers traveling to remote locations to write or, like J.K. Rowling, just holing up in a hotel to finish books. Like I said, not strictly necessary—especially for people with more limited budgets than J.K. Rowling, which is everyone—but do try to change it up in some way every once in a while. You’ll find lists on the internet about places to write, including coffee shops (if you’re comfortable participating in a cliché), park benches, libraries, etc. I’m convinced it could even be something as small as moving to a different room in your house or turning your desk to face a different wall or, even better, out a window.

I think that if you’re in a rut or even just coasting along, a different perspective can go a long way in helping to lift you out of it. Of course, ultimately, it’s you who determines your productivity and, at some point, moving around just becomes yet another distraction. (And, we don’t need any more distraction than the internet already provides us.) But every so often, a new or altered perspective could improve your productivity or help your brain form different connections, you know for filling in plot holes or rounding out characters and the like.

*In full disclosure, I should mention that the internet’s been out in my parents’ house since I’ve been back, so that also hasn’t hurt my productivity… Regardless, I’m running with my change-of-scenery theory…perhaps in part because I currently find myself with the time and motivation to write a blog post.

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