Location is Meaningless

This week’s topic is all about location and I’m addressing my post to YOU, the manically busy writer. I’m sure you have idealistic expectations of where you need to write your New York Times Best Seller. Maybe you’ve fantasized about being the next Hemingway, writing the great American novel by the sea or in cozy cottage, thick in the woods. Maybe you feel without the right conditions, you can’t possibly consider writing and that is what has kept you from finishing your novel. I’m here to tell, location means nothing.

When I’m not attempting to be an author, I work an extremely demanding day job in Television. A 12-hour day type of job. A travel every few months type of job. A “how the hell did you find time to write a book” type of job.

Let me give you a glimpse of my schedule (which you can also find on my FAQ page):

5:45am Alarm goes off

6:00am Sit up in bed

6:15am-8:15am Writing

8:15am Walk dog

8:30am Get ready for work

9:15am-10am Commute (Read or write on subway. Dangerous stuff!)

10am-6:30pm WORK (read during lunch)

6:30pm-7:30pm Pretend to have a life

8:00pm-9:00pm Eat a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, while answering emails

9:30pm Distracted by social media

10:30pm Pass out

During a normal week, I do the majority of my writing in my bed. Sure, it would be healthier to move to my office space, but my bed is a sanctuary, a safe undisturbed space. The moment I leave it, I’m fair game to be distracted by the world, whether it’s checking both my cell phones or petting my needy dog (he’s really not needy, it’s really me who needs his love).  Of course, this only applies to a normal week, but what about those weeks when I’m traveling or just plain living life?

Simple answer: I write everywhere.

I’ve written on balconies in Mexico, on fifteen-hour flights to New Delhi, during early morning calls to prayer in Abu Dhabi, on NYC subways, on TV sets between takes, and in every airport in-between. I sat dressed on a bed in New Orleans in the middle of a bride-to-be meltdown, just so I could turn my final copyedits in on time.
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The takeaway from all this, less than ideal locations should not deter you from your writing goal. Words hitting a page should be your priority. Don’t let a pretty location be the sole compass for your success. You need to find a way to channel to creativity into the drive in order to do what you have to do to make your dreams come true.

Even if that means writing on a 13-hour flight with a screaming toddler next to you.  

(Thank God for headphones. And rum.)

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Tiffany D. Jackson is a TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable chihuahua Oscar, most likely multitasking. Her debut novel, ALLEGEDLY is due January 24th, 2017 through Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins.

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This article has 3 Comments

  1. “Maybe you’ve fantasized about being the next Hemingway, writing the great American novel by the sea or in cozy cottage, thick in the woods.”

    That was later. 🙂

    In the early days, he wrote in cafés in Paris — pretty much the equivalent of writing in a Starbucks. And later, for a time, he wrote in a rear room of a hotel in Madrid while the front of the hotel was shelled, from time to time, by the fascists.

    So, yes, putting down the words on the paper — that’s the priority.

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