Saturday, June 2, 2018

Get Out of the House -- and Write!

I’m writing this on Memorial Day, which is the latest in a series of bright, pleasant spring days here in Central Indiana. The sky is clear, a light breeze is blowing, the fragrance of fresh-mowed grass refreshes me, and a chorus of birdsong cheers my heart. On such a day last weekend, I looked out my window into the shady backyard and thought, What a perfect day for writing!

It reminded me of similar spring days when I was a boy. A winter of poring over textbooks so thoroughly ingrained the study habit that I wouldn’t notice a change in the weather until my mother shouted up the stairs, “It’s such a beautiful day. Why don’t you go outside?” And I would!

I must confess that such a day poses a dilemma for me now that I'm an adult. When I’m writing, I want to be outside; and when I’m outside, I want to be writing. I’m stung by a guilty conscience either way, and weather doesn’t affect my conscience in the slightest.

But there’s another solution: I could go outside to write.

I could carry a pen and writing pad anywhere to write the old-fashioned way. A longhand draft can open creative springs that would be stifled in front of a computer screen. Alternately, I could take my tablet or laptop computer to a shady spot and continue my story.. (In such a situation, I put my machine in airplane mode so that incoming emails don’t distract me.)

So here’s my advice: Don’t let a good day spoil your writing. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, let the birdsong lift your spirits, but don’t let these things become a writer’s block. Get out of the house and write!

Joe Allison has been a member of the Indiana chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2010. He lives in Anderson, IN. His non-fiction books include Setting Goals That Count and Swords and Whetstones.


  1. I love writing outside! The distant sounds of traffic and the cadence of nature provide a perfect backdrop. The "airplane mode" suggestion is a good one. Thanks, Joe.

  2. Great advise! I fight myself to stay in and work. I work best with a change of scenery. By the water I write some of my best work; pool, lake, pond... shoot puddles even sound good!