Is it a good idea to move to a remote cabin to "write"?

Originally published at: Is it a good idea to move to a remote cabin to "write"? | Boing Boing


Remote cabins are basically sensory deprivation tanks. If you rely on the stimulation of everyday life in the city for writing ideas or inspiration perhaps not a good idea. Running off to a cabin in the woods is always a great idea for vacation. Just make sure the cabin comes with a human soup bowl:



The trick is to go on writing retreats together with others who also write something and to have goals you want to reach that you regularly share with the others. I’ve done such a “retreat” in the same building my office is in and it was still effective. I imagine it would be great in a cabin, too.


I dunno, it seemed to work out for Ted Kaczynski and his booming career as a writer.


Did The Shining teach people nothing?


too soon.


Why not?


I’ve had mixed success with remote cabin in the woods writing. For me, it really depends on what I’m working on. If I’ve got a work in progress, it’s easy because I just keep working on it. If I’m in-between things, it’s not as successful, but I’m probably just going to wander around and look at nature all day.

That being said, getting to a cabin in the woods is as easy as going to my parent’s house these days, so it’s lost some of the luster.

I’ve always been curious about writing retreats, but never done one. I can imagine something like that being way more effective than a structure-less writing vacation.


I’m not a writer, but I have had mixed success with the approach of go somewhere isolated from my day to day life to work on an interesting project. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I don’t think it is a bad or fundamentally flawed idea.


there’s a bar & grill around the corner from us and i used to go there to be in the midst of people i could ignore, have beer delivered to my table and use their free wifi - the cost of beer was far less than rent for an office and i actually got a lot of work done - except when friends would drop in for a visit and then all hell would break loose


Oh yeah, coffee shop writing is the most effective way of working for me, too. Something about strangers theoretically being able to see you’re procrastinating and the general atmosphere of being among people but also on my own really boosts my productivity. Never tried a bar, though. I think that would be too distracting for me.

Long distance train journeys can also have a similar effect. But that’s maybe an environment more common here in Europe.


That all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?
Tell me if I got that right, it’s been a while since I read that book, but I’m pretty sure that was the key takeaway. :wink:


I guess Stephen King didn’t think so, so you have to simply reinforce it. Hence, Secret Window, Secret Garden.

bored john turturro GIF by A24

Maybe some incentive, perhaps?

kathy bates misery GIF


My trick is to have 4 or 5 places in my house that are set up for writing, including a closet with school desk facing a wall. I recently bought a qwerkywriter and pair it to my phone or Onyx Boox to write on. Ultra portable. No excuses.

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What a lovely dream - to be able to abandon your life and go play in the woods for a while!


If I’m struggling to write something, then going alone to somewhere silent guarrantees nothing will get done; I need some agitation to shake things up. If I’m already being productive writing, though, then going somewhere with no distractions helps speed things up. The only time I’ve been stuck and going outside to a quiet spot has worked for me is during revisions; rereading what I’ve written in a new setting can stir ideas and help shake the dust


Only in the movie, not the book, I fear.


Longer than I thought, then!
Weird how memories get supplanted.
I think I need to go find a cabin in the woods to write about this.


I found about this dingus recently:

(it may cost less than a vacation house).
And as some posters have pointed out, it may be that the peace and quiet will indeed help as long as you already have a plan for what you mean to do. At that point, sometimes a lack of annoyances and internetty distractions can have a surprising effect on focus.
But if the internal road map be fuzzy and indistinct, well, who knows…

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