For those of you artistic, creative and writerly types, I’ve found something that really gets my creative fluids gushing. Holly and I recently watched the film Chocolat with Johnny Depp a few nights ago. It’s like the thousandth time, but it never gets old. Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench are absolute genius. While watching the “behind the scenes” extra, I noticed what a profound influence the French village had on the artistic aspect of the film. The same was true of the film Benny and Joon also with Johnny Depp as they filmed in Spokane, Washington.
So, “Why?”, I thought, shouldn’t we writers also write on location?
It makes perfect sense. While it’s true that images aren’t captured on celluloid or videotape, but they are captured. They’re captured in a far more profound way, processed, and published in probably the most profound medium ever thought of — writing. It’s a medium that can transfer images like none other. And it makes sense that writers should at least sometimes write on location.
A Writer’s Date — Writing on Location
On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we packed a wonderful lunch of roast chicken sandwiches with humus, fresh leaf lettuce and generous slices of Vidalia onion. We drove up the river about 40 minutes and found a pristine spot packed with historical legend, wildlife and sunshine.
The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
There, with fresh pens and notebooks with plenty of potential, we wrote until our souls were satisfied. We kept the talking to a minimum so as not to interrupt the help of the muse or to hand over the binoculars to gaze at a hawk or passing canoe.
I don’t really know what Holly’s writing about. She hasn’t said, but since that day, she’s been writing every free moment. Writing on location was a good idea for her.
And writing on location was a good idea for me as well. I hadn’t realized what was holding up my current project until we “went on location” and the exact creative input that I needed was all around me. It was nearly overwhelming.
Writing on location is sure medicine for blocked writers and artists as well as help for aspiring writers needing a little kick start. Here are a few tips:
- Choose a place where you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere you’re looking for. Be aware that some environments might be more distracting than helpful. Try it, but be take note of what works for you. Maybe you’ll need to try something different.
- Writing partners are great, but don’t talk about writing. Write.
- Choose cautiously between a laptop computer and a notebook and pen. The notebook is even more portable allowing you subtle adjustments in your on location choices.
- Allow plenty of time. In fact, the best situation is when you allow yourself an open-ended writing time. Then you can write till you’re finished. A luxury to be sure, but really nice if you can swing it.
Enjoy your next on-location writer’s date. Post a comment to tell me about it!
Yours along TheRomanticWay!