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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Hayden

Where to Write?

I had coffee (well, I don't drink coffee so I had hot chocolate) with a colleague last week, and while we were awaiting or order she asked me if I ever write in the coffee shop we were in. I explained that I hadn't, but intend to one day. It's close to my home and has an atmosphere that I like. But it got me thinking that I haven't written at a shop since the pandemic; I write primarily at home. I've written a couple times on the airplane or in a hotel since 2020, but not at a coffee shop in quite a while.

I have always preferred to write in bed, and I think I always will. It is where I am most comfortable and free to put words down. I can stretch out or sit up. I can have pages strewn about me without a care in the world about aesthetic or the noise of shuffling paper. I can play music or enjoy the quiet. I am a short walk to my bookshelves, to snacks, to the loo. I can look like shit (and often do) in my loungewear and fuzzy socks that may or may not match, with a messy bun whose height is often directly proportional to my creativity. Some people say they cannot work at home, but I would rather write here than anywhere else.

But it got me thinking: I want to start going out into the world more often to work. By 'more often' I don't mean often. I just mean more than now, which could end up being only once a month. But still, it's a start. Because I do get distracted sometimes at home. I get distracted outside of home too, but there are fewer things to sidetrack my progress. And I suppose part of me has the quintessential writer-in-coffee-shop image in my head.

One of my favorite places to write though has been at a park near the water. I was able to suspend, even if only temporarily, my nearly vampiric aversion to sunlight and my abhorrence for several types of insects (don't even get me started on arachnids) to scribble a few lines. It was very calming, being in nature. And conducive to pausing and to reflection. Seattle has dozens of parks, and plenty of other good places where I have written in the past (libraries, ferries, outdoor gardens, coworking spaces). If I wanted to, I could drive for a little while and go write on a fucking mountain; living here has its perks. For now, though, I'll start with that little coffee shop that's a 7 minute drive from my house. One of these days.

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