Seeking Safe Inspiration – Daily Quote


Everyone knows JK Rowling got her inspiration for Harry Potter on a train ride from Manchester to London in 1990 and wrote the manuscript in a series of Edinburgh cafes. But John le Carré used his daily commute on train rides from Buckinghamshire to London to draft his debut novel, Call for the Dead. Gertrude Stein reportedly wrote in her Model T Ford parked in various parking lots, while Maya Angelou chose hotel rooms with everything removed from the walls to minimize distractions.  D. H. Lawrence wrote alfresco, in pine forests, and Dame Edith Sitwell opted for a pine box. Yes, as in a coffin.

With quarantine restrictions easing I am eager to explore alternative possibilities for inspiring locations. Writing on trains conjures romantic thoughts of the Orient Express, the 1930s, and Agatha Christie. But you won’t find me attempting to write in any moving vehicle due to my motion sickness. Pre-lockdown, coffee shops were an excellent solution, but I am not brave enough to entertain the logistics required to maintain proper physical distance while distracted. Parking lots with access to free WiFi would be an option, except that I drive a tiny two-seat sports car. Her steering wheel eats into any space available for my laptop. And I will have to give a coffin a hard pass.

In the past, I have written in doctor offices, hospital rooms, waiting areas, stairwells, lobbies, grocery store lines, and airport boarding zones. None of them are appealing now. The best I can hope for is warmer weather, sunshine, and a comfy chair on the patio.

Have you considered alternate locations?


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

13 thoughts on “Seeking Safe Inspiration – Daily Quote

  1. I only wish I could see my laptop screen outdoors, but even in the shade it’s difficult. I’ve tried making my cursor bigger and giving it a trail but I still lose it in the reflections on the screen, which intrude whichever direction I face.
    When the sun is out, I just feel I ought to be out there. (We see so little of it in the UK.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve been having a lot of rain. Torrential downpours with several inches per hour and of course flooding. I forgot about the screen reflections, Cathy. But like you I want to be outdoors when the sun decides to shine. 💗☀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I could fight my way through the chaos that threatens to drown me, I look forward to being able to write in the garden. Long hand, because I have the same trouble with my laptop…

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  3. Jo, I am like you – I suffer from motion sickness and cannot write in cars, planes, trains, etc. I really prefer being at home, in the quiet, when I write. However, when I took a week off last year and focused on writing, I spent a few days in local coffee shops without the quiet. Ultimately, it’s about how motivated I am to write and if there is subject matter circling around in my head that I need to put into words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have missed writing in coffee shops and I am looking forward to getting back home. This virus caught us in the middle of a whole house remodel and living in a hotel. Thankfully, work is progressing on the house. Writing is all about having the motivation to just get it done. I hope you have a great day, my friend. 😊

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  4. I appreciate learning of the authors’ writing places. I thought the opening quotation was going to be by Agatha Christie. I write at my computer and generally don’t think a great deal about writing elsewhere. I mean, I’ve only moved the computer when I’ve had to–when housesitting, for instance. I take a steno pad with me when I’m out and sometimes go to a coffee place to sip and write. I know the writing will be different. I handwrite slowly and badly. Sometimes I come up with something in this way that I’ll use.

    I’m sure many of us will be relieved simply knowing we can go somewhere else to write or simply observe or think.

    Another great question!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great minds think alike Christopher. I thought of Agatha Christie when I read the quote as well. 😊

      I sometimes jot notes or random ideas, and phrases on a steno pad. But more often my phone is more readily available. Any real writing I do on my laptop., The larger keyboard lets my fingers keep pace with the words spilling from my brain. It’s an odd process since I think in sentences and word and somehow my fingers just know how to spell everything. Handwriting must use different parts of the brain.

      Glad you liked the question 👍


  5. I’m afraid I need my own private space to write anything worth reading. I can scribble notes in front of the TV, or when travelling, but not properly formed paragraphs! I’d love to write in the garden but can’t see the screen of my laptop in the sun – and writing anything at all on a phone is a no-no. I’m far too ham-fisted for that! An interesting talking point, Jo. 😀

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    • I can appreciate that Millie. Having a place that is yours alone is a wonderful feeling. I’m working on setting up such a space, but I can’t wait for my vision to manifest. So am making do with what I have. 🙂💕


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