As a writer, I often find myself looking to the likes of Pari, Berlin and the USA as good places to go and get some writing done. Maybe that’s because I’m a huge fan of classic fiction and I want to follow in Hemingway’s footsteps, or perhaps it’s just because I live in London, and as a Londoner, creativity struggles to maintain its place.
Creativity dies in London, and so good writing is a hard thing to accomplish.
Writing requires a level of thought and focus that only a calm environment can offer.
With this said, I want to highlight the three places I’ve done some writing in the UK, and why they catered to my every need.
Loch Lomond, Scotland
On the morning of June 7th 2016, I sat my last exam at university. Two hours after I’d finished, I was beginning the nine hour drive to Loch Lomond, Scotland. I switched off my phone and drove alone through the night, arriving at one in the morning.
I had no place to sleep. Ironically, I slept in the footwell of the car in a Holiday Inn car park.
At four in the morning, I hiked a mountain to watch the sunrise over the Loch, and I sat and wrote.
I can only count on one hand the times that I’ve truly been inspired to write freely and creatively, without fear of judgement or need to tick a box.
This was one of those occasions.
I long to go back to Loch Lomond almost every day. It was a place of peace and clarity for me, and as a writer, it was exactly the fuel I needed to get the words down on paper.
This summer I spent a week in Fowey, Cornwall. Idyllic is the only word that comes to mind. Sure, there were tourists around, but the clifftop walks and ocean views had me thinking long and hard, and writing even harder.
I think I filled a journal that week. The quaint coffee shops and harbour views gave me a level of inspiration I’d never felt before. It was optimistic and hopeful, themes I don’t usually turn to when I write.
I grew as a writer in Fowey, and the trip taught me how to bring a sense of motivation and colourfulness into my work. It isn’t all doom and gloom.
Hay-on-Wye is the UK’s go-to town for second hand books. Seriously… every single street has a book shop that looks small on the outside, but is actually a labyrinth of words from all over the world spanning all topics.
If you’re looking for a place to become motivated as a writer, this is it.
In honesty, I didn’t get much writing done in Hay, because I spent all my time trawling through other people’s works and understanding new and exciting areas of the craft.
What it did give me though, was fuel. Fuel to read away from what I enjoy; fuel to write away from what I’m comfortable with.
I only spent four days in Hay-on-Wye, but that was all I needed to hit the reset button and get back to it.