When I had the money some days I would go to the MET. I would find a favorite painting, statue, or place, sit in front of it and write. Sometimes it was just a journal entry, an idea or a story. Sometimes it was nothing. When it was a story it was usually about what I stared at. I loved those days and miss them. I would go by myself. I could take the day and wonder wherever I wanted. There was no worry it wasn’t what someone else wanted to do. All that mattered was what my mind and writing hand wanted to do. Sometimes I would spend hours in one section or at one painting. But sometimes if the day was nice it was through Central Park for some nature inspiration. I hoped nothing would become to familiar or boring. That my mind would clear and my writing would take off. Sometimes I could write pages upon pages. The worst days were when no ink would leave the pen tip.
I looked for someplace closer. I use to write at the Starbucks by me. It was a long walk, and a noisy place. Before people yell at me for not supporting a nearby cute Mom and Pop cafe there isn’t one near me. Still this Starbucks feels like a homey cafe. Maybe it’s the small town feel surrounded area or the baristas who seem to know many customers that come in by name and their drink. All that’s missing is the to stay (London style) ceramic mugs. I liked the ambient cafe noise. I liked hearing the sound of steam hitting the milk as coffee foam was made and the people around me working or talking. In the cafe I could people watch. I liked catching meet and greets, business deals taking place, the old men playing chess or children and teenagers giggling and laughing just a little to loud. I liked being able to get any type of coffee or tea creation. Probably the one thing I never went for that most did was the free WiFi. I found it easy to shut off Internet access and write. I stopped going because of bad weather, calorie intake, and maybe that one nosy interrupting person.
Next I tried the library. It seems it has been the one place I have always had trouble writing. In one library I couldn’t get any work done. One of the Assistant Librarians knew me from around the neighborhood and would love to chat with me. He was loud for the library and even said embarrassing, inappropriate things that got looks from other patrons and workers. Needless to say it made me feel uncomfortable. I tried to be polite but it was an every visit occurrence so I stop going to that location and tried another. I realized from another library location I have always believed libraries are too quiet. Hearing every turn of a page can be maddening when I’m trying to write. I look up from the screen with every movement.
I think the best writing I do is when I’m on vacation or away. A new city, place, and constant stimulation. I know what I have to write about and the short amount of time I have to write. It’s not story writing but journal writing and who cares? I write like a fiend. (Sorry for the cliche). I don’t care about imperfections just as long as I get everything I want to remember down. The air, sights, sounds, and the events of the day.
Lately I’ve been writing from home. I make my own tea and use the Coffitivity or Rainy Cafe website to get the ambient sound I need to write. When I need to leave I take a walk around the block or to the dog park to clear my mind. It always helps to watch my dog, Lana, run free from the leash and tumble around with her doggy friends.
Do you find going someplace helps you write? What place has inspired you? Or do you need complete silence to get words down on the page?