The Fun of Writing Outdoors

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With summer here, many people find that they want to spend as much time outside as possible.  Usually because I’m writing this in May, so I have no idea if we’re still under lockdown or not.  Last thing I heard was Murder Hornets before I did this post.  Sorry if I brought up bad memories or angered our sting-happy overlords.  Anyway . . . I’ll just jump to the next paragraph.

Now, I haven’t done this in a long time, but some authors like to write outside.  Maybe it isn’t a book, but an outline or some poetry.  You get a sense of peace if you find a nice tree to relax under and let the muses take you away.  This comes in very handy if you’re describing a scene that involves the outside.  Something about being in nature can remind you about the other senses.  You smell and hear so much that they come to mind as easily as sight.  Even if you’re only in your backyard or on a balcony, you can feel a breeze and describe it better than if you tried to get the same sensation from a ceiling fan.  So, there’s definitely a lot of positive for writing outside.

At least if you can do it because not everyone has that option.  Those who can have challenges to contend with too.  No outlets in a forest and WiFi isn’t a sure bet either even in the backyard.  Stray too far from the router and you’ll be in a little trouble if you need to research something.  Nothing says relaxed author like one wandering around with a laptop held over their head and praying for a signal.  Wildlife can be a challenge too.  Insects buzzing in your face or a squirrel running around the branches above.  Imagine being in the middle of a great scene and an acorn clonks you on the head.  Let’s not forget you have the weather too.  Heat can be brutal, so bring water and sunscreen.  Rain can be a sudden disaster for either paper or electronic.  Wind has been a thorn in my side whenever I’ve tried to outline in the backyard.  So much fun getting a page whipped out of my hand or flipped over as I write.

Personally, I’m an indoor guy.  I’ve tried outdoors and haven’t had much success in the last decade.  Last time I tried and got anything done was in Florida.  Just a little notebook work by the pond outside the apartment.  It wasn’t consistent either.  Another time I tried and a damn hawk decided to land on the far side of the picnic table.  You think it’s uncomfortable writing with a human staring at you?  Try a bird of prey or a snake that you didn’t notice was under the table.  Up in New York, the problem is wind, that dang squirrel, and there simply being nowhere comfortable to sit and work.  Too many roots in the ground and I’m too heavy to sit on the roof like I did as a teenager.  That and the window I would climb through was replaced with privacy glass.  Best I do is take a walk and daydream about the ideas I’m piecing together.

So, do you try to write outside?  If so, how does it go?  If not, why isn’t it for you?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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25 Responses to The Fun of Writing Outdoors

  1. The best I’ve done with writing outside is at a local Starbucks. Maybe I should try writing in nature, but I suspect I’ll only be bringing pen and paper for the practicality. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I like writing outside and have used the patio furniture for that purpose. The national forest is much better. Things won’t update to the cloud until I return home, but that’s okay. Most of my writing time is indoors, but I have the back door open right now. Does that count? My grandmother always said we can plug into a current bush. (Thanks, grandma.)

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  3. L. Marie says:

    Love this post! You have great posts!

    I have had some great experiences writing at retreat centers that have lots of acreage and comfortable outdoor chairs and logs to sit upon. Sometimes I’ll sit out in the yard with a journal. But if I’m on a deadline, I need to be inside on the computer with my WIFI connection.

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  4. Since I do all my writing on my MAC wind is not an issue. I also have a personal hotspot so WiFi isn’t an issue either. I do enjoy doing e-mails on the back porch. Sometimes Twiggy loves to go out and sit so I go out with her. Right now it is way too hot. It is 104 degrees. We’ll do our writing inside today.

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  5. Tryep says:

    Wind. In Oklahoma, wind sweeps down the plains. Boy does it sweep down the plains. 30mph gusts on average makes it hard to do much in the way of writing outside here. So I write inside when I get the chance

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Occasionally I revise or outline/brainstorm outside. I use spiral notebooks or a clipboard, so my pages can’t go too far. I know I could bring a tablet or something electronic, but I like to have pencil in hand. To me, it’s kind of like insurance to have hard copy of notes and sketches.

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  7. If a hawk had landed right near me, I would have jumped up and ran off. Those things are huge. I enjoy writing outside as long as I’m in a shady relatively comfy seat. Hope

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  8. If a hawk had landed near me on the table I was working on, I would have jumped up and probably would of ran off lol. Those things are huge. I do enjoy writing outside those as long as I’m in a shady relatively comfy area to sit.

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