Favorite places to write

I used to love writing at Starbucks. The lattes are good, and the vibes are excellent. But it is a little noisy, and you have to pay for wireless connection -- these days, who would PAY for wifi? I still like Starbucks, but now I have other choices.

Book stores are good alternatives. Many chain stores have coffee shops and they are good places to chill, read, and write. Most people who go to book stores love books, so they don't tend to bother others while they're browsing. Besides, it's nice to be able to get up and grab a reference book or a dictionary from the shelves when I need them.

Independent coffee shops are catching up. I still prefer the overpriced fraps and lattes at Starbucks, but there are many things I like about small indies. They're usually quieter and more comfortable, with better background music. Many writers and artists tend to hang out at indies so you get a really nice mix of creative types. The Bohemian crowd can be very entertaining. Also, there's something good about supporting your local businesses. Many indies now offer free wifi, so that's a big plus.

I also enjoy Panera Bread. I like the idea of having food and drinks (and free refills) close by and I can write all day. They also have free wifi, so I can just grab a cup of tea and a croissant, and stay there for a while. Lately, though, parents have been taking their kids to Panera because school is still out and they have no babysitters, I suppose. There's nothing more annoying than trying to work while a baby is screaming from three feet away.

I tend not to like libraries. They're often too stuffy, too quiet, and too... weird for me. I don't know why, but I just don't seem to be able to focus in libraries. They kind of spook me. Besides, food and drinks are not allowed in many areas except the cafeteria, and I like to stuff myself while I write.

I can't write at home either. I get cabin fever and I need to surround myself with people, even if they're strangers. Writing at home seems like a dream to many writers, but to me, it's a prison. There are too many distractions and I usually just end up surfing the web or taking a nap. Whenever I see a movie or TV show in which the writer is comfortably writing at his or her home office, I'll go, "Good for you, but it sure ain't working for me."

Hotel rooms are okay, but then the cabin fever sets in as well. I end up just want to get out and do something instead of sitting at the desk and write.

I did my best writing at coffee shops, and I don't see how that's going to change any time soon.


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