Thursday, February 28, 2008

Solitude or Surrounded?

Here's your writerly question of the day.

Are you one of those writers who can go to a coffeehouse or cafe, plop down with your laptop and/or pen and paper, and write? Or are you like me, and look at everyone around you, wondering what their story is, wondering what they're thinking and doing, and not getting a single thing done on your own novel?

I've tried writing in Barnes & Noble before and it was pretty much an exercise in futility. I'm too much of a people watcher. I could go sit at a mall and just watch people all day long.

For me, I need to have solitude. Ok, so my kids are usually running around or my cats are jumping up on my desk to play with my cursor, but my distractions are minimal.

How about you?


  1. I need the quiet if I want to do any kind of quality writing. My writers group usually does write-ins twice a month at starbucks - 30 mins of writing / 10-15 min break / repeat, etc and I get a lot done during that time, but it isn't the same calibre I get when I have my quiet.

  2. I've never gone to a coffee shop to write, probably because my laptop's battery doesn't hold a charge!! I've always wanted to be like that though. :)

  3. I wish I could do the coffee shop thing too, but I'm afraid I need total quiet and no distractions -- although I did surprise myself recently when I hammered out a chapter on the flight from DC to Denver on the first flight I've taken in ages that wasn't completely full (therefore there was no one sitting next to me and I had some privacy and elbow room).

  4. I PREFER solitude.

    But, if I'm on deadline, I can write anytime, anywhere, to get the job done.

    It's all about choice of focus. I can drop down and shut off the world, unless there's repetitive machine noise going on (jackhammers, etc.)

  5. I hate peace and quiet! I can't do a thing in solitude. My mind wanders terribly. I love writing in a coffee shop or around a lot of people in any context really.

    Even libraries are wayyyy too quiet for me to work. This is probably a good thing since I have three little monkeys at home. :)

  6. Hi, Melissa

    I can usually get a lot of writing done in a public place, but I also like to set aside time to watch people and eavesdrop on conversations. There's great inspiration and material out there in public places.

  7. I can't write at B&N either. I can't read their either. I am definitely too much of a people watcher.

  8. Actually, I love going to Barnes and Nobles or my local library to write. I don't need quiet to write. Jut as no one talks to me, I can write. And people watching helps me creatively sometimes so it is all good!

  9. I can write with people around as long as they aren't trying to read what I am writing.

    I call them shoulder vultures and I've even blogged about their annoying presence.


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