I’ve been thinking a lot about where I write recently. I share a four-bedroom house with five other people (one is my boyfriend of six years), so I don’t get a ton of privacy. Plus, the place is generally messy. And mess drives me batshit crazy. This week I finally worked up the gumption to make my house a writer’s nest. Personally, I need a clean space to feel mentally “clear.” It was well worth it, and it only took a a few (five or six) hours.
Do you ever have that problem? You know what kind of environment supports your writing, but you’re too damn lazy or busy to make that environment a reality? Luckily, I almost always prefer to write at home. All the coffee and snacks I need, incense, and a bed where I can lay in total dishabille. (Writing while wearing a stupid bra or shoes feels so awkward. Like taking a standardized test. I prefer to write in my pajamas, but I feel like a schmuck wearing them in public.) I don’t need to go anywhere to get writing done, but I know many other writers feel differently.
Occasionally, though, I’ll drag my misanthropic self to a coffee shop, etc., to power write. (Only when WriteByNight is closed, of course.)
I live in Austin, so yes, they are Austin places:
1. The Hideout. Because it feels like one and they have wine in addition to espresso, people-watching opportunities, and a speakeasy ambiance. It’s a great spot for writing fiction.
2. OPA! Coffee and Wine Bar. I swear it has nothing to do with the “wine bar” thing. There are comfy couches, it usually isn’t too packed (more couches for the taking), and they have Mediterranean food. Baklava and dolmas go so well with coffee.
4. Rio Rita: It’s across the street from WriteByNight (very convenient). The vibe is surreal, sort of a dark ’60s lounge room feel. The color scheme brings to mind the scenes from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Gonzo and Hunter S. Thompson are at Circus Circus.
5. La Tazza Fresca: Go a few blocks past Spiderhouse and you’ll hit La Tazza Fresca. You’re way more likely to find a seat and have available electrical outlets at your disposal. It’s quaint, has bottomless coffee, and I owe my thesis completion in part to La Tazza Fresca.
So those are five of my public writing haunts. WBNers, what are some of yours?
In addition to writing for WriteByNight’s blog, Jenna Cooper writes for BE Mag and a blog called FemThreads. Aside from writing, Jenna served as an AmeriCorps Member from 2008-2010 and will start her M.S. in Information Studies in Fall 2012. She graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in English from the University of Texas.