Where is Brome Hill?

deskOnce upon a time, Brome Hill was an actual place, which I’ve written about in the past.

But the original Brome Hill is pretty far removed from the places where I write the posts that comprise this blog.

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy cafe? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity, the folks at WordPress asked today in their Daily Post: Writing Space.

For me, the answers to that question are usually the:

  • Office where I write at home.
  • Office where I work as a fundraiser/development/marketing/public relations guy for a nonprofit homeless shelter. Sometimes, I’ll finish or edit something there before posting it.
  • Coffee shop, where they allow me to run a tab and give me free access to their WiFi.

Actually, where I write is much less important than when and how I write. For one thing, even though I am hopelessly addicted to my iPhone, I’ll never be able to type fast enough on it to compose anything more than a text message. And I’m pretty slow at that. I”m much better off trying to type on a QWERTY keyboard.

Also, I write the best very early in the morning. I grew up and left the farm nearly 30 years ago, but it never really left me. Most mornings, I still wake up before 5:00 and I’ve always felt I write best before 8:00.

After leaving the farm on which I grew up and graduating from college, I spent more than 20 years learning how to write as a reporter and editor in the newsrooms of seven different newspapers. That meant learning how to write on deadline and block out the noise around me. And it has left me seeking background noise whenever I write now. Today, the noise is being provided by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and “The Splendid Table” on Iowa Public Radio.

Listening to a foodie show on public radio is even further removed from the farm broadcasts my dad listened to on WHO radio in Des Moines when I was a kid than this blog is from the original Brome Hill.

But that may be a topic for another day,


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