Essay

Where I Write by Sandra Kitt

Sandra Kitt shares with us some of her favorite places to write!

Veteran romance author Sandra Kitt is a professional at writing anywhere and everywhere! In honor of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo—where on November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of November 30—Sandra shared with us some of her favorite places to write!


I first began writing by longhand, drafting my novels on a legal pad. How often have we read about authors who began working this way? You can take the pad with you anywhere, and write at anytime. Atmosphere and setting may or may not be important, but the freedom to change it as needed is. I wrote my first six books on a pad, balanced on my lap as I rode the New York City subway back and forth to my day job. Once I began working, the rocking of the train, the noise, the other passengers all fell away as I became part of the written world I was creating. I wrote half of another book while on vacation, sitting on a beach on a Caribbean island. I’ve written parts of other novels while at work, on my desktop, during my lunch break. The ability to save my work on a disc (or later to a desktop) and move it from here to there, from one computer to another, became another form of magic that made being a writer possible. And when I got my first laptop, I never owned a desktop again.

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I was traveling quite a bit at the beginning of my career and the ability to transport my computer, my notes and work, my imagination anywhere was a revelation. I could sit at the desk in a hotel room, or the side chair often provided. Or sit cross-legged on the bed. I could take my laptop down to the lounge, or an area of the lobby. A corner of the local library worked very well. Quiet was everywhere, or ambient white noise played under the surface of my consciousness, although I never seemed to need absolute silence. I grew to love writing to a background of classical music.

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One place that never worked for me was Starbucks, the quintessential setting for many writers. To me the café seemed too artificial, and physically uncomfortable. But I love the waiting area at Delta Airlines’ terminal, where they provide not only counter space with outlets for your electronic devices, but also comfortable stools and reading lamps! Clearly, the folks at Delta get it—creating a working environment for people in transit that encourages productivity.

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In my neighborhood I discovered a historical site on acres of green grass, narrow pathways, and shade trees overlooking the Hudson River. In warm weather, I can commandeer an Adirondack chair facing the river, put in earplugs for music from my iPod Touch, open my laptop, and (blissfully) write . . . and daydream . . . for hours. I sometimes think that maybe the place where I work is not so critical as the internal sense of peace where my ideas come to life and the characters living in my head are free to talk to me and tell me their story.

I listen closely . . . and I write.

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