Sometimes with all of the hustle and bustle going on with life and all of the household chores that I constantly find myself doing, I have to say enough is enough and drag my butt out of the house to a different spot to write. As easy as that may sound as you picture yourself sitting in a coffee shop sipping on the drink-of-the-day, it turns out it’s not always that easy.
There are a lot of places that are less writer-friendly than others. Some of the most popular chain stores would rather you not lounge around all day. Some even say something to you if you decide to! Others quietly get rid of the number plugs placed around the walls. Each store is different, but it’s always great to know where you can go to get some chapters cranked out comfortably. I’ll share a few of them that I’m familiar with, but I’d love to hear from everyone reading where they’ve found themselves or someone else typing up a storm in public!
1. The Library
I know this is pretty classic, but at least the libraries near me have really taken hold of work space for everyone to use. Some libraries even have entire rooms dedicated to computers and tables that people can come in and work at. If you’re lucky, there will even be bright colored squishy chairs placed in appropriate positions.
In contrast to that, I have seen libraries that are far from writer-friendly. Especially large branch libraries where your time limit on the computers are excruciating or smaller ones where they just haven’t thought of adding that wi-fi connection yet.
2. Barnes & Noble
Large bookstores are a maybe, but some Barnes & Nobles have these wonderful little cafes in them and they are usually filled with people working on their computers from business men and women to writers. Typically I purchase a drink or a snack since I am using their space (this is a good use of courtesy no matter where you are), but I’ve never been bothered and the atmosphere is already book-lover friendly.
3. Some Cafes
There are some Cafe’s that are still writer-friendly and sometimes they can be unique and wonderful finds for your travel diaries as well. Cedar Grove Coffee House in Shepherdsville, Kentucky is one of those places right off the expressway that you just have to check out. They sell local art here, have a little gift shop, and offer delicious sandwiches, soup, and other foods! They even Cater! But it is a very nice atmosphere for getting writing done if you aren’t distracted by all of the neat characteristics.
Look different cafes up, you’ll be surprised how many are around. You’ll just have to explore to see which one suits you best.
4. McAlister’s Deli
This is one of my favorites because I often go here to hang out with my writer friends. You get endless refills and the food is light like bread bowls, soups, sandwiches, and potatoes. They also have sweets for that sweet tooth you get when writing or when you’re just having a bad day. It’s a great social environment and they usually have good wifi!
Okay, so they might not have wi-fi, but parks are a beautiful way to get twice the writerly work done at once (provided you prepare for the weather and pick a sunny day!) The few times that I’ve had the opportunity to work or read at a park I’ve been amazed at how tranquil and inspiring it is. Not to mention you can do something that writers do best-people watch! Give it a try. It’s worth a little drive. You’ll also find out if there are any cool activities that are coming up.
I will not lie to you, this list was actually a little difficult to make. Despite the need to find quiet places to write or just to get work done, there are still too few options to retreat to unless you’ve found your perfect getaway. So finally, I’m going to add a number 6 to the list.
The only reason that this didn’t make it into the top 5 is because it does require setting aside some time and money to do, but a group of my writer friends and I set up a little ‘vacation’, if you will, this summer that we called our ‘Writing Retreat’. We booked a cabin on a lake for a week and packed books, resources, and our computers and headed on out. Throughout the week we were allowed to leave only for food and a minor amount of sight-seeing for inspiration. We read more than we had all summer, wrote more, figured out more about our characters–and even ourselves. It was a writing and a mental retreat that all of us needed. Not surrounded by the stress of everyday life or the distractions of the home, we were well rested and doing what we loved-being together-and writing.
Share your stories and ideas!
And don’t forget to keep writing!