2.28.2011

where i write.


Six hours a week, between art history and literature classes, I sit in a coffee shop in my college town, with nothing to do but write.

My mind buzzes excitedly on the walk over. Half a mile doesn't seem a long jaunt, until temperatures have dipped into the negatives and wind speeds have jumped to double digits. I've often spent the last moments of class selecting what I'll write about, and in an attempt to distract myself from the penetrating cold, I mind-pen the first three sentences on the brisk stoll, sometimes even whispering them aloud when I'm certain there's no one around. When I reach the coffee shop, my eyes search for my table near the window, bathed in sun: is it taken? On occasion dishes have been left behind on its thick, dark table top after a lunch rush, and I cheerfully carry them to the back of the shop...happy to see my table free of lunch-time hustle. Then I cozy in, pulling out a journal or laptop, and while overlooking a bustly intersection right off campus, let the words flow.

Those are my favorite, and most productive, times of day. In those few hours, I'm not a girl who needs to do her dishes, or must make a run to the post office...I'm just a random girl in a coffee shop. Free of responsibilities, giving her a freedom of mind. Home is rarely inspiring. There are closets to sort, laundry to wash, treadmills to conquer and bills to pay. But when I'm stranded in my little scholarly town, over an hour's round trip from a run to Target or the mall, I'm simply paused in time with nothing but a laptop, a coffee and a crackling fire.

Last week didn't allow for any of those times, hence my quietness after my last post. Cancelled classes, a sick day, on-campus errands and the like kept me from my coffee shop all week, and I've missed it so. The daunting task of documenting Chapter 2 of my little story took a backseat, as I didn't have those precious, quiet hours in the coffee shop where my mind-voice is the loudest. Although, my home enjoyed the reallocation of those six hours, as I dug into deep cleaning and purging my closets and drawers.

Where, and when, are you most inspired to write?

13 comments:

  1. Love that cracked coffee mug!
    I love to write anywhere, anytime. :) I am taking two writing intensive courses right now (Shakespeare and Creative Writing) and having a great time! Sigh.. Good luck with yours!

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  2. First off I just gotta say...LOVE that picture & the visual you created!

    My problem right now is that I'm not inspired to write, and that's making me sad. Maybe it's because we're in the middle of moving and my life (as I know it) is changing so I don't feel there's a "safe" spot to curl up and let my mind flow. Hopefully our new house will have a nook I can get cozy in and let the words tumble out.

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  3. i loved reading this - it reminds me of my 'writing times.'

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  4. I'm usually inspired in the morning (when the sun is shining bright in my window) or in the evening at around 7pm. Not sure why, I guess they're just the relaxing times in my day.

    I usually write in my room at the apartment with some sort of snack or drink beside me. Looking forward to reading Chapter 2.

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  5. Yesterday I wrote a story in my head. It carried me through four hours of driving effortlessly. It was wonderful.

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  6. I feel inspired to write when I'm traveling. New places give me new things to write about (:

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  7. Oh I remember those days so fondly. Enjoy the time you have now to be quiet and to sit and write.
    I used to have my favourite coffee shop on the corner of a very busy intersection in Montreal right by my university. I loved spending hours there studying or writing letters to my friends far away. xox

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  8. What a gift those hours must be, I confess I've never found that "space" that completely inspires me. I find I'm most inspired when I'm in the car or out for a walk - neither of which allow me to actually get words on paper/screen.

    I got my LOVELY package on Friday - thanks just doesn't cut it. You totally made my weekend.

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  9. Just reading that makes me want to escape and write in my journal. I usually write on the lounge because I keep my journal in a box in the living room. I guess I spend a lot of time here and it feels comfortable.

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  10. the shower! i think up all my blog posts in my head while showering.

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  11. Miss your lovely posts! Hope school work settles down for you soon (and no more sick days)! Enjoy the early parts of March. :)

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  12. Inspiration comes to me at the strangest time. Sometimes I will just sit down in my favorite chair and bang out six or seven posts.

    I actually carry a little notebook with me where I jot down all my ideas: design ideas, blogging ideas, TODO lists, etc. A lot of them are hard to read because I write while in the chopper ;)

    LB

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  13. I love how you described your thoughts on the walk over. I majored in English Lit during undergrad and loooove to write, although I haven't had much practice since I started grad school.

    Unfortunately my peak writing hours are from midnight to 3am, even to this day. I can't explain why, because the silence of night usually had me falling asleep as I type!

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Every time you comment, a unicorn gets his wings. Also, my phone beeps and your words bring me joy. :)

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