Saturday, November 15, 2008

Location, Location, Location

Writing about writer’s block the other day got me wondering about the craft of writing. The inspirations, desperations, and locations that make us writers fascinate me. So today’s question isn’t what makes you write. My question is: Where do you write?

For example, no matter how many times I promise myself that I will blog from Toronto while on home leave, we all know it isn’t going to happen. I adore going home but I just can’t write there. (And looking back, that must be why I never did my homework. Not laziness – location!)

On the other hand, I love writing in cafés and restaurants. I always have my leather notebook that I bought in Australia with me, and the moment I settle myself down in an eatery – I write. In fact, this blog was written in a café not far from my flat. Sitting in a corner seat with a sandwich, hot chocolate, and piano music in the background, I found myself unable to not write. It wasn’t even that the café was terribly inspirational but there I was, scribbling away, chewing on the end of my pen trying to find the perfect turn of phrase in between bites of a club sandwich.

Time and again, the café as a venue has mined blog gold for me. (Ok, bronze in this case. Work with me here!) Some people who visit cafés alone become embarrassed and self-conscious at their lack of company. I, on the other hand, bring my amusements with me – a good book to read and blank pages to fill.

Sure, I write at home on my laptop in front of the TV, but it has been cafés and restaurants around the world that have remained my most faithful muses. You see, for reasons I can’t explain, cafés feed me and every so often manage to inspire me. In the midst of a slice of Black Forest cake, or biting into a bowl of pasta perfection, my muses have been known to tear me away from culinary delights in order to pay them homage and do their bidding.

And so I continued to do so that day, sitting in a hotel café, writing down what they whispered in my ear. Thanks guys – I couldn’t do it with out you. Well, you and the yummy café food!

POST SCRIPT: It should be noted that in the midst of writing this blog ode to my café-bound muses (in a café no less), they abandoned me and left me without an ending or even a very good middle. I don’t know if they were upset that I “outed” them by sharing the source of my inspiration. Or maybe they were annoyed that my hand was painfully cramping making it difficult to hold a pen when words of adulation should have been dripping forth. Either way, I need to go and light some candles, make a sacrifice, and pray to the muses to fill my pages with words.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

No homework? That's what happened--you were not fed enough!
merthyrmum

psychoknitter said...

Yowser, that hot chocolate looks good. What I wouldn't give for a nice cafe!

LadyFi said...

What a fun post! What you say is true of writing, homework and also WORK... If you ask people where they get their best ideas, the three Bs always come up: bed, bathroom, bars. Add to that: walking, in nature, jogging, at cafes, in parks.

No one ever says: Oh - I get my best ideas at work...

I can really do a lot of writing at home... but if I need inspiration, then next to the water, or in a cafe with a good coffee and maybe a cake.

you can't beat it...

Bluefish said...

I write my blog on my laptop on my bed or on dinning table. I cannot use someone else's computer to do so. I tried and I felt very uncomfortable.

I also write down thoughts on my travels on a small notebook that my friend gave me. It's great to document things that I see at that moment.

Brenda said...

I like to write best at home, on my desktop. And it HAS to be a computer, I don't like to write on paper any more, too much work!

Connie said...

I write in my head. Walking down the street, doing housework, etc... I am composing. Eventually I sit down and type, but it starts off in my mind. Outline, fill in, edit, etc. Thank goodness for computers, otherwise, what would I do with all this crap that I fill my brain with??

I used to enjoy writing in pretty notebooks with a pen, but I ripped ligaments in my thumb almost 2 decades ago and it's a painful chore now. I save my pen time for doodling. :-)

GutsyWriter said...

First I agree. I love writing at my beautiful Newport Beach, California library with my own little cubicle, surrounded by magazines, and all the latest books. WhenI get bored, I simply turn around, and pick up cop of The Writer, to inspire me, or give me some new techniques.
This is the only library I'm aware of where you can bring your coffee inside, and there's a delicious coffee shop next to it.
Also, get your family and friends to vote for your most embarrassing story on my blog. One vote per person. See ya.

GutsyWriter said...

Sorry. Should have checked for typos before hitting submit.

Corinne said...

I'm a walking writer. Going to the store, walking to the subway...I guess it's a natural extension of my day dreaming. :)

Thanks for the Congrats! Hubby is 6'5", which makes him over a foot taller than me!

Kat said...

Very cool. I am so not a writer...so I just sit here at my laptop on my kitchen table. And read blogs and hope for inspiration. Most of the time I stare at the blank open document and wish I had a writer's brain. Or a cafe. Or a cup of that hot chocolate...

Jacki said...

I am always writing in my head, since I don't get much of a chance to actually write with pen and paper anymore. But I prefer using pen and paper.

Love your journal!

Zen Ventures said...

Hail to the Coffee! Maybe it's the sense of relaxation and wonderful aroma of the coffee that inspires you! I love Coffee that I'm proud of u! :)

Amanda said...

I blog from bed, though occassionally from work. In cafes, I generally only read, though I have occassionally written.