Where do you blog from?
One of the most attractive parts about blogging as a profession for me is the independence and flexibility that it brings.
I can work from anywhere that I can find an Internet connection. In fact, I don’t even need that at all times—I just need some kind of device to capture the content that I produce (something to type on, a camera, and/or a microphone).
This flexibility, and the opportunity to be location-independent, are wonderful things. They’ve meant I’m able to travel and work from the road; they’ve enabled me to be quite hands-on with my family (particularly useful when your kids are toddlers!), and they’ve also cut down the dreaded commute that I used to have to do when I worked a “real” job.
The other great thing about this type of work—combined with the ever-increasing array of portable computing gadgets that are around—is that from day to day, I’m able to work in all kinds of locations. This variety can be both fun and make life a little more interesting, but it can also help stimulate all kinds of creativity.
Someone asked recently what were my favorite places to blog from. Here’s what I said (and I’d love to hear your favorites below):
The combination of coffee, a computer, and the white noise of those around me is a very productive mix for me. I spend at least four mornings a week in my local cafe, just a short stroll from our front door. The staff greet me with ‘Blogger dude!” and bring me my drink of choice (a skinny latte with one sugar) without needing to be asked (and a second one 30 minutes later, or on the nod of the head—whichever comes first!). They even installed WiFi just for me.
Other patrons ask how I ever get anything done with all the noise, but for me it’s a strangely productive place where I find myself getting lost in my work. I also enjoy the fact that there are others around—snippets of overheard conversation or interactions with others in the cafe often produce ideas, stimulate blog posts, and even generate product ideas.
2. Shopping centers (the mall)
A variation on the cafe approach has been a semi-regular visit to a local shopping center or mall. The one I go to is among the biggest in Melbourne, and has a great range of cafes, a food court, and several hundred shops—including an Apple store. I enjoy working there partly for similar reasons to those mentioned above (white noise, coffee, etc.), but also because I find the environment quite stimulating for ideas.
I have a little routine that I use: an hour in one cafe; a 15-minute stroll through the shops, where I get all kinds of marketing ideas; an hour in a second cafe; another stroll through shops; then I settle down in the food court or a resautrant for lunch. The combination of all this is surprisingly productive (and I keep the Apple store in business with my regular stop-offs there).
3. The library
I don’t get there as much as I used to since we moved further away from the city, but I always found the big library in the center of Melbourne to be an inspiring place to work, and I used to head there at least once a month. I found just being in a place where others were working and reading used to help me still myself and focus.
Having a vast array of books, magazines, and newspapers on hand for little breaks was also quite stimulating, but the real treat for me is the reading room pictured above, which is just an inspiring place to hang out.
One of the most memorable work sessions that I’ve ever had was on a recent flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. While I never used to enjoy that flight (14 hours cramped up next to a stranger with not much to do? Not fun!), the last few times I’ve flown, I’ve found myself being particularly productive
Perhaps it’s the altitude or the oxygen they pump around the plane (do they do that?) but I often get a lot done flying. This could also partly be because this is one of the few times in my life that I’m disconnected from the Web (those international flights don’t have WiFi yet). It might also be because I’m traveling to and from conferences that I find to be stimulating experiences.
5. On the couch
Most weeknights you can find me sitting in our lounge room, next to my wife, on the couch, in front of the TV, blogging. I’m not sure how much of the TV I actually watch, but I find the experience to be a good way to wind down at the end of a day.
There are times where my wife needs to tell me to put the computer down so we can connect (although she often sits there surfing too), but all in all it’s usually a reasonably productive time. I tend to use it mainly for admin-type tasks—email, social media, comment moderation, etc.—rather than creative ones, but occasionally I’ll find that something from the TV also stimulates ideas for my work.
6. My desk and office
This is where I do the bulk of my blogging. While I like to get out of the house in the morning to write (mornings are generally more about writing content and creative tasks), I spend the bulk of my afternoons in my home office. This is where I create multi-media content, do interviews, take calls, and do most of the admin and editing tasks that I do.
I did a tour of my office a few years back—not a lot has changed in terms of layout, although I now mainly work from a laptop rather than the desktop computer.
What about you?
Where do you spend most of your time blogging? Which places do you enjoy blogging the most? Do you find different places are better for certain tasks more than others? Interested in your thoughts.