One of the things writers may have collectively discovered during this pandemic is the limits of their usual desks or rooms and so on when it comes to finding inspiration. Falling into an unstimulating rut is a nightmare for a creative worker, but being inundated with distractions in a foreign place is a no-go too. So, where do you write your best work?
Writing as a physical activity is so rigid, it can be a great idea to find some variety in a natural setting, outside of your home or office. Beyond the rich history of creatives of all kind finding inspiration in the outdoors, these days it’s especially refreshing to be able to default to healthy natural light in between all that screen time. Try out a park, a hill peak after a hike, the beach (maybe don’t bring the electronics for this one, unless you like cleaning sand out of your keyboard), etc.
Though, there are screenwriters who take drastic measures to ensure absolute focus on their work. Akira Kurosawa and his alternating collection of cowriters would often retreat to mountain spas or hot-spring resorts, and write for weeks on end without visitors (and sometimes even without phone calls). All holed up together like this, they would write the same acts or scenes at the same time, rather than carving up the workload, and pick the best approaches. This method, whilst producing great results, was time-consuming, hence their need to eliminate all distractions. Of course, these locations were a little more palatable then locking yourself in your home with no outside contact might be, and we can’t all afford spa-days, let alone spa-months.
So, maybe a cheaper spot, where fueling up on food and drink is still taken care of? It’s good to avoid restaurants and bars, since they’re too busy and consequently too loud. Café’s and coffee shops on the other hand have earned their reputations as home-base for writers for a reason. Bong Joon-ho, who many young and fringe filmmakers have delighted in claiming as one of their own who’s hitting it big, often sings the praises of the coffee shops he works out of. Parasite was written in Cafe Seoraesu, who’ve gone so far as to name a special of theirs in his honour. Whilst it’s not very likely that you’ll receive the same treatment for being their number one customer, the free Wi-Fi in these shops is a boon to any researching screenwriter.
If that’s still not quiet enough for you, there’s the library. Not only will it (ideally) be quiet as the grave, there are examples of creativity all around to get your juices flowing again, and it’s free (key if you don’t want to have to pay up every hour or so when the waiter comes back to pester you). If the library is a little too on the nose or busy (somehow), maybe opt for another institution available to the public: a museum. Go on an off day (don’t want to get swamped by grade schoolers on a field trip), and see if the more tangible ambience and larger spaces of the exhibits set anything into motion.
Basically, the most important takeaway might be: don’t always stick to one place. Wherever you do go, make sure there’s sunlight nearby, that you’re comfortable and that your work comes first.