If you’re like me, occasionally you like to escape from the house and sit somewhere else so you can pretend that you have some semblance of a social life.
The first place I ever visited on a regular basis was a lovely place known as the Tea Spot. They almost always had room for me to sit for several hours, drinking copious amounts of tea and eating chocolate and scones. (They had the best scones. No unnecessary fruit.)
From there, I moved on to coffee shops. I don’t actually like coffee, but I have made do. There’s something very hipster about sitting in a coffee shop, tiny computer out, drinking your peppermint mocha, headphones in but not necessarily listening to anything.
I like coffee shops, I really do. But they have their drawbacks. The main one being that you have to buy something. I mean, no one’s going to hunt you down and make you have a latte or whatever, but basic courtesy says if you’re going to take up main table space for a few hours, you should give them something in return. Also, they may give you the evil eye and set your car on fire.
Secondly, they tend to be noisy. Writers love coffee shops. Unfortunately, so do book clubs, study groups, teenagers, and noodle-eating smokers. Sometimes it’s fine. Sometimes you want to stab people in the eye with a pen.
They also tend to be crowded. You walk in wondering if there’s any good tables left – or any tables at all – or if you’re going to have to stuff yourself into some odd corner. And if you have a group of people coming…well.
As an alternative, I’ve started going to my local library to get some work done. It’s quiet, there are plenty of places to work, the wifi works great, and if you need to do research, you are surrounded by books. No baristas staring at you willing you to buy caffeine. One could argue that it is, perhaps, too quiet, but that is a silly concern. (Besides, you can still bring headphones and listen to music.)
Where’s your favorite place to write? Any preference on the type of venue?