Communing with Nature: Writer Style

One of the most common complaints I hear from fellow writers is that they just can’t get outside much if they really want to write. Instead they sit at their desk or on the couch with the computer or laptop plugged in and write inside. It’s often like having an office or sanctuary for writing. But why do we feel compelled to keep our writing indoors? Is it some subconscious idea that we have to keep our ideas behind closed doors until they are ready for the world? It is our fear of distraction? Is it a belief that for some reason we have to be sitting behind a desk to successfully write?

This summer I experimented with the great outdoors for my writing. I wanted more fresh air, and I wanted my kids to be able to run outside and play while I worked. What I learned about myself shouldn’t have been a shock.

  • The fresh air kept my mind fresh as well.
  • Nature inspired me to write.
  • My thoughts were much more coherent and fluid.

Next summer I plan to create my own backyard retreat for writing, possibly inspired by the photo.


Don’t be afraid to create your own backyard retreat and let nature help you find the inspiration and motivation you need. The only things you will need to make your retreat work for you are:

  1. A comfortable seat. You will be sitting there a while.
  2. A table. It can either be a side table for drinks and snacks or a full table that can also hold your laptop.
  3. An outlet. If your battery life doesn’t work for you, make sure you have an outlet nearby.
  4. Shade in the right position. If your back will be to the east or west, make sure the shade is behind you. If you are facing north or south, you will need it on a side. Shade is important to keep you from burning and to keep your screen visible in the natural light.
  5. A lap tray (optional) if you intend to sit in a chair without a table for your laptop. You won’t want that hot thing sitting on your lap while you write.

Most important of all, make the space comfortable for you.



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