Have you ever felt like writing but didn’t know what to write about?
I was in Paris, my favorite city in the world, a few weeks ago, and as I looked out the window of my room at Le Grand Hotel, located in the “Golden Triangle” of Paris, my heart skipped a beat. The scene was simply beautiful and my challenge was what do I write about first!
As I took in the scene, people walking on the grand boulevard, the shops displaying their wares, the beautiful park across the street, a flower vendor on the corner selling the most beautiful tulips I have ever seen, I sat down and began to write everything I could see.
I had the luxury of a week all to myself in Paris. No business, just pleasure, just sight seeing, dining, and writing. I had read Eric Maisel’s “A Writer’s Paris” and visited several of the spots he recommended. It was everything he described. I truly felt like a writer writing at the same locations many famous writers had chosen to express themselves many years ago. It confirmed what I teach my students, environment is everything!
One way to become inspired to write is to find an inspiring place to write. My most frequent writing spot is my desk in my studio, however, my favorite places to write are airplanes, cruise ships and beautiful hotel rooms with spectacular views. I love to travel and when I visit new places I always add on a “writing day”. Just me and my journals.
In Paris, I was able to write in the Louvre, inside Notre Dame and at the top of the Arch de Triumphe. It was a stretch to carry my laptop to the very top of all those stairs, but definitely worth it! I would leave my hotel room early in the morning armed with my laptop fully juiced and my digital recorder. When I ran out of computer battery power, I would fire up the recorder and keep on writing via talking. Not all places were computer friendly – I was asked a couple of times by the French guards to turn off my computer in two of the smaller museums – but it was worth the effort. I also had my favorite pen and a journal so I could write anywhere, anytime I wanted to. All I had to do was look around and there was something to write about.
So, what do you do when you feel like writing but don’t know what to write about? Look out the window, pick three key words that describe what you see and start writing using those three words. Take your laptop for a ride to the park, a friendly coffee shop, a bench at the lake, to your back yard and look around. Write about what you see and you will be amazed what comes out.
Ann McIndoo, your Author’s Coach