10 Best Places for Writing

August 20, 2011

In addition to being a counselor, public speaker and pastor, I also get paid occasionally to write. I choose not to write in my office and there has been too much hustle and bustle this summer to write at home (no offense to my family: it is what it is).

So I have become very creative in finding niche places to write. As with all my lists, these are not rated in any particular order. Here, then, are my favorite places to write these days.

1. The public library quiet rooms. Usually Internet access is available for free and the Quiet rooms are usually quiet (compared with the rest of the library).

2. Starbucks: Sometimes I need to combine people-watching with writing. By so doing, I ground my writing in the arena of the personal which make the writing poignant and accessible.

3. Airports: I did a lot of travel this year. Pick a gate where no planes are leaving  for several hours. This will be empty and once again, there is usually free Internet.

4. Barnes and Noble coffee shop: As with most places, if you go in the early afternoon, the crowds are gone. I have a Nook, so I can access books for free for one hour while in B. and N.

5. Backyard patio: Even in sweltering Sacramento, it is cool enough to write in the evenings out on my patio. My wireless network reaches out there as well.

6. Rented Hotel Room: Twice a year, I rent a hotel room someplace cool and write for three or four days straight. Go on Travelocity or another travel site and look at pictures of their rooms. Note the chairs and tables, not the bed. When you get there, disconnect the television from the wall, or take the batteries out of the remote and throw them away. That at least hinders the desire to waste time watching television.

7. Sandwich shops: The quainter the better. If you order food, they will let you work there for hours. Be cognizant that they open their doors to you in order to make a living. If you are there all day, keep buying stuff.

8. McDonalds: Yes, the Golden Arches do have several things going for them. Cheap menu, free wifi and comfortable seats. Also, if you get a booth, you can spread your stuff out. In order to avoid too many distractions, stay far away from the ball rooms.

9. University library study rooms: Even though I have not been a student for many years, you don’t have to show I.D. to get in. Usually the architecture is amazing and will inspire your creative muse.

10. Hospital waiting rooms: As a pastor, I am often called to visit people in hospitals. Most often, (with the exception of the Emergency room) they have free wifi and quiet spots to write. This will not occur to most people, but you learn a lot about the human condition in a hospital.

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