Finding Space to Write

A writing retreat might seem like an idyllic prospect, but for a lot of writers this might not be an affordable or realistic aim.

So what can you do instead? Here are five ideas for finding your own new space to write:

1.    Go to a different part of your own house

This is probably the easiest way you could create a working space that feels new, but won’t take a lot of time, money or energy to organise. Choose a different room or area of the house where you normally wouldn’t write − a converted attic, the garden shed or the spare bedroom, for example. This way, you’ll be in the comfort of your own home but still feel like you’ve undergone a change of scene.

2.    Hire a cheap local space

There are lots of community spaces you can hire for free or very cheaply. The Melting Pot and the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh are good places to start. The Playwrights’ Studio in Glasgow also offer desk spaces and meeting rooms for general hire. You could also make enquiries at local universities, libraries, museums or council offices.

3.    Set up camp in a coffee shop

The sights, sounds and smells might just be what you need to fix that bit of dialogue, address that plot hole or give that character a bit more spark

You may already use your local coffee shop as a makeshift writing space, but if you haven’t used one before, give it a try. Even if you don’t think the environment will be conducive to work, you may surprise yourself. The sights, sounds and smells might just be what you need to fix that bit of dialogue, address that plot hole or give that character a bit more spark. If you already have a regular cafe where you write, try a new one and see how that change of scene affects your work.  It worked for J.K. Rowling...

4.    Swap spaces with a friend

Ask a friend who writes if they’d be willing to let you use their spare room or better still swap spaces for a day. This way, you’ll both be giving each other the opportunity to dedicate some time to your writing in a new environment. Just make sure you tidy up after yourself!

5.    Try an ‘in-house’ retreat

If that all sounds like too much hassle, try a simple ‘in house’ retreat. Simply block out some time where you will switch off your phone, disable the internet and focus on your writing. Make sure you’ve got your writing toolkit to hand and plenty of refreshments within easy reach. If nothing else, you’ll prove to yourself that you don’t need to leave the house to get things done!