Do you prefer writing in your pajamas for days in a row, with your unkempt hair and a mouth that gets the caress of a toothbrush at irregular intervals?
Or you want to get out and write as you experience a cool refreshing breeze in the park?
When you’re a writer, especially a freelance writer, you have a whole lot of interesting places to write that evoke inspiration and increase your productivity.
Working from home is nice but it gets draggy sometimes, and a change of scenery can bring back that spark in you.
With that in mind, I have come up with a comprehensive list of different places that can do the trick for you and help you finish that book—whilst having fun.
List Of The Best Places To Write A Book
Do you know a place called The Elephant House?
But, in all likelihood, you know J.K Rowling and her more-than-famous harry potter series. The elephant house—a gourmet tea and coffee house in Edinburg—is where J.K Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book.
In fact, the house prides itself as the “birthplace of harry potter.”
Out of all the places to ink a bestseller (outside the writer’s home), the café is the most popular spot.
It’s a place where lines between being alone and being lonely get blurred. You can write alone while enjoying occasional distractions from the rest of the crowd.
By the Beach
If you are just as fulfilled as myself when water hits pebbles or sand on the shore, you might just find writing by the beach a very exciting summer experience.
Even for someone who’s not fond of frolicking on the beach, the idea itself is very exciting.
Before the pandemic, beaches around the world were thronged by overexcited crowds (including tanned 40-year-old kids), but with the lockdowns and all, beaches have become eerily silent places.
In some countries though, beaches are still open and crowded, so writers in such areas can still go and write there.
3. By the Pool
Don’t feel like going to the beach and getting sand into your pants or keyboard?
Perhaps you just don’t like the crowds and the frenzy of those oiled creatures.
Or you simply don’t live near any beach.
Whatever the case, you can still recreate the mesmerizing and somewhat spiritual effect of the water body by writing poolside.
Writing by the pool sounds like an awesome idea!
I have never done this myself, but I have always envisioned writing by an empty abandoned pool.
Now, that’d be cool.
4. In A Castle
Imagine writing in a castle in which royalty used to live. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity for the world.
If walking around a castle and absorbing its long, rich, and inspiring history wouldn’t fill you with ideas, there aren’t many things—in this world—that would.
The United States and the UK have lots of these castles that are accessible to the general public.
5. On a Boat, Ferry
It’s the 21st century, and boats and ferries have Wi-Fi. Implication? When you hop onto a ferry, you can still be online.
Most of the ferries and commuter-type watercraft have tables and benches—just the right setting for a writer.
Cities, including San Francisco and New York, have these very convenient commuter ferries.
Writing on a boat in San Francisco is awesome but imagine writing on a yacht…
That’s just taking it to a whole different level.
A yacht must be out of the question for most of us, but if you happen to have access to one, it’d be bliss to write inside it.
7. At the Train Station
Some writers prefer the hustle and bustle of city life. What better place than the train station?
Imagine your head pacing and your eyes rolling as you observe people come and go—boarding off a train or trying to catch one.
Of course, you’ll get free Wi-Fi so that you can use your writing tools such as Grammarly or Scrivener whilst there.
8. On a Train
In a train, city mongers come together and literally rub shoulders.
It’s never short of exciting happenings and inspirational things—Keanu Reeves reading a book or Jay-Z on his way to a live performance.
Amtrak trains have tables, workspaces, and charging outlets for your electronics. Some authors have utilized Amtrak’s mobile offices to write an entire book.
9. At the Aquarium
It’s easy to find a muse at the aquarium—the fish, the kids on a field trip, the new couple on a date.
There’s just a lot happening in a place as serene as the aquarium.
If you want a quieter time, you can go after the field trip time. The aquarium is a great place to deal with writer’s block because so much happens in a little time but at a slow pace.
You need to check for an annual membership plan if you think you can make the aquarium a frequent venue for your book writing sessions.
10. In a Historic City or Town
If you are a freelance writer, who’s making a respectable income from your freelance career, you can afford to travel to another city within your country or abroad.
For example, you could go to Paris, visit the Pont des Arts and let it inspire your romance novel. Cairo perhaps? The pyramids are the right sites to visit to get a feel of the civilizations that lived between the old kingdom to the close of the Ptolemaic period.
Cartagena is also a great option, a port city in northwestern Colombia with a rich history. It’s a unique place to write great fiction.
11. The Library
You have everything you need at the library—books, Wi-Fi, workspaces, et cetera.
The countless stacks of books on the library shelves offer almost sufficient research and reference materials for fiction and non-fiction writers alike.
You can choose to go incommunicado (it’s unlikely the librarians are going to let you take a phone call within the study area), or you can use the Wi-Fi to connect to friends and workmates.
12. At Your Workplace
Some freelancers have earned enough to build a team. In this case, writing in the office is the most efficient way of getting your work done because you are surrounded by a group of people who are part of whatever you intend to write.
13. Your Man Cave
Writing at home (in the living room or bedroom) is great, but it’s prone to distractions.
The solution is simple, just like a designer working in the studio, you need a special place—free of distractions—for all your book writing sessions.
It can be a special soundproof room in the house or cottage in a remote location.
14. Your Camper Van
A camper van would fit nicely with other suggestions on this list. You could drive to a public park and have your writing station there.
Or you could convert it into a mobile man cave that you can either use in your backyard or on the road.
15. Shopping Mall
The mall is an inspiring place to get your ideas flowing. Everyone’s at the mall—kids, the Reverend, students, aunt Judy, Mall security, Billy the Plumber.
It’s the best place to create your characters and backstories. All you have to do is sit down, listen to your character as they tell you more about themselves, and watch your story unfold.
A book store is to writers what a cemetery is to witches. Forget the superstition; grasp the basic idea.
When you walk into a bookstore that has olden bestsellers, it feels like you are walking among spirits and ancestors.
My friend, that’s a whole load of inspiration for you, right there.
17. Your Backyard
You don’t need to go further than your place to find a good spot, you can set it up yourself in the backyard.
Get yourself a nice cushioned wooden chair and table and enjoy the sun and cool breeze.
18. An Art Gallery
I talked about a museum; here’s something similar—an art gallery.
Feast your eyes upon some spectacular art, from modern to renaissance. An art gallery has the richness in history as a museum and is an excellent place to provoke your imagination as you seek to build characters, plots and subplots, and your story’s settings.
19. The Roof
This is one of my favorite spots to write and study. If you can safely and legally access your building’s roof (dorm building, apartment, etc.), go there and enjoy the view while getting the elusive ideas inspired by the newly discovered perspective of your city.
20. A Bar
Yes, you read that right, a bar.
Sometimes, all you need is the frenzy of a hangout spot. Looking at Chuck mumble some “English” in his drunken state or observing Murphy trying to take the bartender home.
Or watching alcohol-induced dance moves, the bar is an idea-inducing place to stitch one or two chapters.
21. Botanical Gardens
Nature is as inspirational as it is beautiful. After writing a line or two, you can stretch your muscles and walk around the garden—smelling the flowers and appreciating the diverse flora.
Getting in touch with nature whilst getting some work done—double wins, eh?
22. A Public Park
Just like a botanic garden, public parks connect you to nature while allowing you some tranquility, suitable for writing one or two chapters.
One thing I like about public parks is you can jog around—thereby keeping both your body and WIP in shape.
And… you can set up your spot the way you want it—bring a flask with some hot coffee, a table and chair, or a blanket.
23. Any Other Place Than Home
Say you live in a big bustling city; that’s the environment you have gotten used to, your natural habitat.
Try visiting a small town in the countryside. Small towns offer a slower pace of life, a quieter environment, and lots of natural and man-made spaces—large cornfields, springs, or an old cabin by the lake.
Such change of scenery might just be what the doctor, this doctor, ordered for your acute writer’s block.
If you live in a small town, going to a big bustling city might equally do the trick.
Where Do Writers Go to Write?
Writers go anywhere to craft their masterpieces; some have a home office and write around their cluttered desks with their favorite beverage beside their moleskin or keyboard.
Maybe it’s the sight of their cat trying to act like they can read or access to their favorite music.
Others go to a library and write there. Some even utilize their journey to and from the library—they ride a train and always carry a notebook with them.
But out of all the places writers go to write, the café is the most popular one. J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and Scott Neustadter’s indie love-story 500 Days of Summer are good examples of masterpieces brewed in the café.
In fact, there are millions of books and stories that were birthed in cafés.
Places Famous Writers Have Written Their Books
Here are some of the places famous authors have patronized and used to write their bestsellers. Expectedly, the café dominates the list.
- The Elephant House, Edinburgh – J.K Rowling
- Vesuvio Café, North California – Jack Kerouac
- Vesuvio Café, North California – Allen Ginsberg
- Intelligentsia Café, Venice Beach – Scott Neustadter
- A mobile office on the Amtrak – Professor Alexander Chee
- The town of Kyoto – Haruki Murakami
- The old town of Cartagena, Colombia – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
What’s Wrong With Writing At Home?
Writing at home is surely comfortable, but sometimes it gets way too comfortable. At home you have access to all the luxuries that are generally better than writing—you have TV, your pets, family members…
All these things can help you clear your mind after long hours of writing, but they are a source of distraction when you are writing.
Clearly, your focus can dip when you get too comfortable in your comfort zone, so I’d advise you to find a spot away from home to get into your A-game.
Where Can I Study or Write Other Than Home?
For most people, a couple of places I have listed for writing will suffice as studying spots.
The first and obvious place is the library, I have noted that some people don’t feel comfortable in a library (I don’t know why, but apparently they loathe it). Nonetheless, the library is the best studying venue for most people—quiet, usually has white walls, zero distractions, and easy access to research and reference material.
There is no place better than it.
If you live in the countryside, you can utilize the fields in the summer. They’re usually quiet, soothing, and have a caressing breeze.
Is It Better to Study at Home or Library?
Getting the most out of your study sessions hinges on finding the right place and time to study.
The study environment you choose will determine the level of focus and productivity during the study session.
People have different preferences as regards to the study environment. Some prefer a quiet spot that has little to no distractions, while others may like to be home with their dog or cat and their Hi-Fi.
Others even prefer a busy environment like a café or the subway—a bit weird, but we’ve seen weirder things.
Before you choose a study spot, you should consider your comfort and needs. You need to ask yourself some questions:
- Are you a foodie? If so, are you going to easily access food in that spot?
- Are you Claustrophobic? How spacious is the place?
- How well do you do in a crowded place?
- How accessible is the place? Can you easily commute to and from the place?
- Does the place provide access to your study material? If not, can you get it there?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to choose appropriately.
Generally, you have access to food at home (and you’re allowed to eat almost anywhere, unlike in the library), it’s more spacious and quiet if you don’t live with a lot of people.
And you have access to your study materials at the library, it’s quiet (albeit crowded), and you can easily get help from the librarians or other people.
My Final Thoughts…
Are these the only interesting places to evoke inspiration?
There are lots of exciting places that I haven’t mentioned on this list.
As a matter of fact, forget the entire list; heck, you can even study or write in the shower if you like.
I write anywhere; I usually have my laptop and notebook with me, ready to write something, anything. But it’s my phone that does most of the writing when I’m not in any of my usual studying spots.
So, this is what I’m basically saying: write anywhere you maybe but for focused and prolonged writing and study sessions, find a spot that makes you feel comfortable and brings out the Hemmingway in you.