Face it, sometimes things are just too hectic at home to concentrate, or you’re hauling kids to and from events, or you just want different scenery. I have spent a lot of time writing in pen, on my AlphaSmart, or now on my MacBook, in various locales and with varying success. Here are some of the more productive spots I’ve hit on:
- PASSENGER SEAT OF A CAR. Either parked someplace, preferably under a tree, or as a passenger while someone trusted drives (i.e., not your teenaged son). I’ve done lots of writing during soccer practice and riding lessons and on my way to my in-laws’ –- seven hours each way –- but sometimes, I just go park.
- Advantages: Quiet. Seat reclines. Control of music.
- Disadvantages: No convenient restroom.
- BACK CORNER BOOTH AT LOCAL CAFE. Great if you’re a regular and have the owner’s sanction. Unfortunately, my favorite closed down a few months back, and I’m still looking for another place that will tolerate me sitting there for three or four hours on one cup of coffee.
- Advantages: Free refills. Food. Comfortable seats.
- Disadvantages: May be noisy.
- COFFEE HOUSE. (Like where you buy a latté, for you non-Pacific NW people). Be careful here, as some are too noisy or have funky tables and chairs that won’t let you sit up properly. When you find a good one, though, it’s terrific, ’cause you have brain fuel right there and they’re used to people who sit around using computers.
- Advantages: WiFi (for research). Latté. Ambiance (if you’re lucky).
- Disadvantages: WiFi (too easy to distract yourself when you should be writing). People who want to chit-chat. Someone else controls the music.
- TREEHOUSE. Okay, so I haven’t actually written in ours, because it’s too small, but I have seen treehouses that I would happily crawl into.
- Advantages: No travel time. Birds and leaves. Fun.
- Disadvantages: Power. That restroom thing again. Climate control issues.
- FAST FOOD RESTAURANT. Yep, I buy my lunch and park myself. I’ve put in over four hours in a single restaurant, and they don’t seem to mind. The key is finding one with comfortable seats and a large enough seating area that there are always open spots. Or just go later (after the lunch rush). In my area, Wendy’s is the best bet, as their chairs are padded and their seating areas are huge. BurgerKing has done well for me, too. McD’s and Taco Bell, not so well here, because of their seats (hard!), but I’ve been in others that would be great.
- Advantages: Onion rings. Coffee. Good lighting. Power plugs.
- Disadvantages: Noisy (but it’s the kind of noise that blends into the background for me –- no individual voices pop out). Impersonal. Poor substitute for the favorite café.
- HOSPITAL CAFETERIA. Stop snickering –- this is where the majority of Immortal Warrior has been written. After the aforementioned favorite café closed down, I was floundering for someplace to write and hit upon the dining area at the local hospital. I put on my headphones, ramp up iTunes, and go for it. If I get tired of sitting at the table, I go find a quiet waiting room with a comfy chair, put my feet up and continue writing. People leave you alone. Wonderful, and only six blocks from my house.
- Advantages: Quiet. Good lighting. Power plugs. Plus the food’s terrific and cheap –- and there’s even an espresso stand in one wing.
- Disadvantages: Haven’t found one. Sick people don’t bother me.
There you are. If you have a good/weird/wonderful place to write, share it in a comment.
Off to finish another chapter,