Taking your writing on the go can be tough, particularly the first few times you do it. Hats off to you if you’re one of the lucky few that can write on a crowded airplane right next to a squealing infant. For the rest of us, a quiet, comfortable location that is free of distractions can help bring on the muse, even when writing on the go. In fact, solitude is so important that writer Virginia Woolf wrote an entire essay about it, “A Room of One’s Own“.
Writing on the Road in Chicago
You can choose from a number of downtown Chicago hotels — there are plenty of luxuriously appointed rooms just waiting for you to check in. You can convert these rooms to the perfect writing nook. Whether you’re in town for an evening or a week, you’ll want to carve out a comfortable spot to create. Some things to look for in your hotel include:
Comfortable rooms: You won’t want to spend much time in your room if it isn’t a clean, organized haven. Comfortable furniture is a must, whether you prefer to sit at a desk or lounge in an armchair — or even all over the bed. Ask for a room that gets some good natural sunlight if that appeals to you, or draw the curtains if you prefer a darker, womb-like environment.
Soundproofing: Look for a relatively new hotel with good soundproofing. You won’t want to hear the distraction of dozens of feet tromping down the hallway, or your neighbors shouting at one another next door. Unwanted noise can be incredibly distracting, so look for a downtown Chicago hotel that prides itself on allowing guests to get a good, quiet night’s sleep.
Solitude: Putting the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door is a good start, but a good spot for writing will also help protect your privacy by holding phone calls and other disturbances. A quick call to the front desk can usually stop distractions in their tracks and prevent you from being pulled away from a key element at the wrong moment. You may even be able to schedule housekeeping for a particular time; schedule this for when you are ready to take a walk or have lunch, and your room will be restored while you take a break.
Convenience: A hotel that offers fast broadband in-room Wi-Fi is a huge plus if you need to do any research or if you need to submit a story right away.
Above all, when you’re writing on the road, don’t forget to spoil yourself a little. Whether you prefer to lock yourself in your room and push on through until your work is complete, or you like to escape with a quick break or two to clear your head, good onsite dining is essential. Having room service you can depend on is a huge plus; you can order something from the menu and still stay in your pajamas or comfy writing clothes. If you do decide to venture out, choosing a good on-site restaurant will give you a chance to have a good meal, clear your head and get ready to tackle the rest of your assignment.
Do you have any tips for writing while traveling?