Writer in Search of a Writing Spot

I need a change in scenery. Something to spice up the endless hours of burning my eyes out on the screen. Meeting my 1k word count goals every day at the same computer in the same shifting light is fine... but I'm tired by the weekend. I want to go outside.

Or sit inside, in the AC, but somewhere that's not the office or my own house.

Graduate school gave me the chance to write anywhere I wanted on campus. I had my pick of at least five different buildings, each with their own nooks and outlets to suit my moods.

But now I commute to work, come home, and go to sleep. And at work, the only real place to sit is in my cubicle. I'm really good at sitting there for hours. So my project is to find (a few) public places (besides the library) that I can hunker down at and write on the weekends.

I haven't always had this opinion - another point for the Real World. In fact, writing in public spaces had been kind of fun to joke about among my grad peers, because we all knew the stigma behind it. To quote one of my favorite cheeky writing books, Robert's Rules of Writing, Robert Masello says:

Starbucks is where writers who want to be seen in the act of creation go, who treat writing as if it were some kind of performance art. They want to be admired, they want to be soothed by the ambient noise and the occasional glance from an attractive patron. They want to be asked, "What are you working on?" so they can sit back and talk about it.

I'm not gonna lie. Part of the intrigue is that I have a shot at being a little more social. By simply sitting at a cafe or bookstore, the possibility of making new friends or witnessing something inspiring (or funny) is greatly increased than... if I sat at home.

Besides, aren't hip 20-something's supposed to be out in public, soaking up the universe? I dunno. You tell me.

I've been living in the same place for 10+ years (not including the four years at college), so I know what's around here. Businesses close so fast that my memories of failed gift shops, pet stores, and a parade of restaurants isn't so great. The rent's too high, I guess, for some entrepreneur to open a coffee shop down the street from me.

Like any good sleuth, I searched the internet for coffee shops, bakeries, soup and sandwich shops - anything that might be in reasonable driving distance. The shops I found were a good 45 minutes away (without traffic) and/or in dubious areas of town. So.


So. That leaves only one place: Barnes & Noble. *cue ominous music*

My local B&N (which is not so local, driving-wise) is really the only central book hub left after Borders closed. There are no used bookstores. Only one place to go. Personally, I love wandering the two-story store; as much as I love ordering books online, nothing beats the pleasure of finding books by simply stumbling upon them. There's a coffee shop inside the store, so to speak, so I'm going to start going there to write for an hour or two in the morning.

The hard part is making sure I don't leave with a new book each time!

Do you have a favorite place you like to write/read at besides at home? What's your view about writers writing publicly? 

BTW, make sure you stop by Namie's blog, Good Morning Lovely, because she's just posted her interview with me there. Do poke around her blog; Namie's posts are both uplifting and inspiring - and I have the honor of being her friend (like, in real life. We hang out).