University Writing Center Blog

Posted on September 17th, 2019 in Opportunity, Writing Strategies by University Writing Center

Written by: Ijada J.

As someone who gets easily distracted, having a variety of places to write is very beneficial for me. Over time, I started to notice patterns in the places I write and when I write in those places. My favorite places to write are the park, the public library, the campus library, and my house. Then there’s the kitchen-the place where I am the least productive. Who can be productive around food? Not me. Power to the people who can though.  

When I am in the brainstorming stage, writing at the park helps me the most. I prefer quiet, boring parks with no playgrounds when I’m writing. The smells, sights, and sounds of nature are soothing to help me stress less about a paper and helps me pick a topic. If I get overwhelmed, I’ll put my work in the car and take a walk on the trail–sometimes I’ll stop by a lake or pond for a while. 

I tend to talk through my work once I am in the organization phase, so I go home to avoid awkward stares. I like to talk into a voice recorder when I need to support my ideas or backtrack to brainstorming.  Once I am done getting my ideas down, the procrastination kicks in, and I know it’s time to edit and revise. When I don’t want to, my fidget toys suddenly become very interesting. I love to drop things for some reason, so I then usually end up running across the room to get my fidget toys back.  

After my brain break, I realize that I am going to have to leave my house to be productive in the editing phase. To keep from nit-picking, I move to a fast-paced environment such as high-traffic areas on campus. I also like to listen to my favorite fast song of the moment on repeat until further notice. This gets me out of my brain fog and causes me to edit furiously. Once I feel that I am at a stopping point, I take a break If I have time, and my paper will sit for a day or two. I can submit my paper after a few self-pep talks. Then I get curious about the next writing assignment, read it, and start the process all over again.  

For more on the writing process, check out Rachel C’s “Diving into the Creative Flow” and Jasmine S’ “Writing and Self-Expression“. However you write, wherever you write, make sure you know that you are indeed a writer! No one has a writing process quite like yours or writes quite like you! 

Further reading:

7 quiet places to study on campus – Samantha Thompson for Campus Life at IUPUI 



One response to “Process in Places: Finding Your Writing”

  1. Emily R. says:

    This is such a fascinating post, Ijada–I love learning about other people’s writing processes, and space is such an important part of that. Taking a walk really can be productive for brainstorming–I often find myself mentally outlining papers as I walk to and from campus every day!