I’m writing this post from the driver’s seat of my car, which is parked outside the field where my sons practice soccer. It’s one of the three places that I regularly write. When the temperature inside the car cooperates, I actually get a lot of work done here. There’s no wifi, no laundry to be done, and no tempting snacks to investigate. This spot works best when I’m drafting. I generally need more space if I’m revising.
The kitchen table is where I settle down to write during the hours that my kids are in school. That’s the goal anyway. It’s not particularly comfortable, ergonomically speaking, but it has a big table and the room is well lit. On a good day, I can get a lot of writing done in this block of time. However, most days involve some kind of disruption—usually in the way of phone calls and emails that need to be answered, or my least favorite thing: appointments.
The third place I typically write is really two places that I’ll merge into one and call “The Coffee Shop.” There’s one I can walk to from my house if I need to get out of my kitchen and have a change of scenery. I appreciate the white noise and the constant flow of coffee. They’re really tolerant and don’t blink if I spend hours sitting there. The other one is near soccer practice and I go there when the car just isn’t working for me. Parking is free and so is the air conditioning.
As you can hopefully see, I’m a big believer in getting the work done wherever and however you have to. While I love the idea of retreats and hours-long stretches of uninterrupted time, that’s generally not a reality for me. But as I’ve learned, even the writing you get done in small, scattered bits of time will eventually add up to a complete manuscript.
Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015).
She is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.