‘Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn’t scare you, doesn’t shut you down. It should make you want to be there, and once you find it, stick with it.’ Twyla Tharp
How the legacy project HQ can help you create legacy
When working on a legacy project, it is important that you find the right work environment for it. I call it the ‘legacy project head quarters’ (legacy project HQ) because this is where you will do most of the work related to that project.
Of course, there will be other places apart from the HQ where you will do work on your legacy project. Ideas for legacy projects come in the most unexpected places and at the most unexpected times, and when that happens it is best if you are able to get right down to work regardless of where you are.
But the reason having an HQ for your legacy project is important is that this is where you can do work on it even on days when you don’t feel like it, or when you don’t find any inspiration. By associating a particular place (the HQ) with a particular legacy project, being in that place will trigger your brain into producing something that will help you move the project along, regarless of how you are feeling that day.
How to find your legacy project HQ
It is best if you find an HQ that is easily accessible to you, even at odd hours. For example, I have chosen my room as the HQ for this blog, and for all other the non-fiction legacy projects I’m working on. This is because I often need to work on my blog in the evenings, when it’s not such a good idea to be wandering the streets; and also because I prefer using my home computer when typing up my blog posts.
For my creative writing legacy project, on the other hand, I usually go to a cafe that’s about 15 minutes walk from my flat. I always try to do all of my creative writing for the day before noon, so the cafe is perfectly accessible to me during the time I have allocated to that particular legacy project. And the reason I have chosen that particular cafe is because the 15 minutes walk is just long enough to get my brain into gear; they serve mocha and bacon rolls at a price I can afford, so I can have a really long leisurly breakfast while getting my writing done; and the cafe is very large and therefore I can nearly always find a seat by the window, where the light is best and from where I can inconspicuously watch people (both within the cafe itself and also those passing by the window) whenever I am struggling to find inspiration.
As I hope this example illustrates, it’s not enough to find an HQ for your legacy project – you need to find the right HQ, one that suits the specific requirements of working on that particular project. In my case, the cafe wouldn’t be right as an HQ for writing my blog. Nor is my room ideal as an HQ for my creative writing – I’ve tried. Experimentation is a crucial part of finding your legacy project HQ, so allow yourself enough time for that. But once you have found your HQ, try to stick with it as much as possible. In the long run, this is where you will be able to make the most progress on your legacy project.
What about your legacy project HQ?
If you don’t already have a legacy project HQ, this week-end might be the perfect time to go hunt for one. It may be that you have the perfect HQ right there at your kitchen table, or in your study. But if that’s not the case, have a think about the requirements of working on your particular legacy project, and see if that can help you come up with suitabel options. Or just have a wander around the place where you live and see if there’s any place in particular that inspire you. I’ve just found another wonderful potential legacy project HQ today, as I was walking back from the cafe, simply because I paid more attention than usual to the places I normally walk by. See if you can spot somewhere that feels right for you, and let us know how you got on.
Or maybe you already have a legacy project HQ? How did you go about finding it? I’d love to read your stories and thoughts in the comment section.
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