Although I write at home during the evenings and many weekends, on weekdays I can often be found at a local coffee house nursing what appears to be a bottomless cup of cafe au lait (but which in reality is just one cup, one I will nurse for hours because the price of coffeehouse coffee is just freakin’ expensive).
This particular place doesn’t even make the best coffee in town, nor is it the cheapest. However, it is the most conveniently located (B.’s hospital is right across the street, so it’s easy for me to pick him up at the end of the day) and, while not usually very quiet (it can get downright noisy in the mid-afternoon — geez, people, don’t you guys have jobs???), it has lots of big tables where I can spread out and work all day if I wanted.
On the other hand, I also enjoy working at home, where there isn’t any coffee but there is plenty of peace and quiet and green tea. My desk can be unbelievably messy at times, but every scrap of paper is mine and I never have to worry about leaving anything behind. Also, there’s not as much to distract me there (laundry and the refrigerator and HGTV and Kimora Lee Simmons: Life in the Fab Lane and NBC Must See TV Night notwithstanding), as my desk faces a blank wall and did I mention that it’s usually pretty darn quiet?
I know that Stephen King wrote Carrie when he was a desperately poor laundry worker, living in a trailer with his growing family and balancing his typewriter on his knees. Ray Bradbury reportedly banged out Fahrenheit 451 in the basement of UCLA’s library on a pay typewriter. Marian Keyes writes her international bestsellers a la Barbara Cartland, i.e., in bed, clad in her jammies, propped up on pillows and eating copious amounts of chocolate (actually, I’ve no idea if Dame Cartland gorged on chocolates while she wrote her millions of books, but it sounds so appropriate, no?).
And yes, J.K. Rowling supposedly wrote the first Harry Potter book in a cafe because it was warmer than her coldwater flat. (The actual story isn’t quite as dramatic as that, of course, but it still makes for good reading.)
So I feel in good company when I’m writing out the book while squatting at the neighborhood coffee house. And I feel equally at home when typing furiously on the keyboard while settled in my comfy office chair at home.
Where do you like to write? Or perhaps more accurately, where are you most inspired to write?