Writing In Public: Why It Works For Me

Writing In Public: Why It Works For Me

I write in public… not for attention but for order and comfort and completion.


To the people staring at me as I sit in a cafe, typing on my laptop

I promise I am not another pretentious writer. I promise that I am not here just so that everyone can bask in my internal meltdown as I try to figure out the correct words to finish this piece. I promise I am not writing a screenplay that I hope you ask about so I can gloat for twenty minutes.

If you ask what I am writing I probably won’t tell you. The truth is every single sentence I write is a small piece of me that I am not willing to dish out until I am satisfied with the piece. I realize that if I said that to someone I would sound like a stereotypical writer so I will just say “just some homework” so that you stop asking.

Why am I sitting in a public place, distracting your muffin eating with my incessant typing you ask? Well, persistent passerby, it is merely so I have witnesses. If you stare at me hard enough I will feel bad about sitting on Tumblr for 30 minutes instead of working on this article. If you glance at my laptop between sips of caramel low-fat something or another I am less likely to look up Emma Watson’s filmography and actually work on organizing my life.

Writing in a public place may seem chaotic to most and sometimes it is. Between the buzzing of nearby conversations to that blender going off EVERY SINGLE MINUTE... sometimes it is hard to concentrate. Though at the same time working in public is sort of comforting.

It is like you have an accidental audience, silently cheering on your every sentence; your every word until you finish. This may seem like a scene from your favorite romantic comedy in which you are the horribly quirky main character who falls in love while writing in a coffee shop; only to write about said experience later. Except it is nothing like that; you are here alone and you will leave alone but that romanticism is still in the air.

I would be lying if I said a small part of me did not hope for the café to fill so that the cute boy in the Ramones t-shirt has to sit next to me while I type and fall in love with the stress that is increasing in-between my eyebrows in the form of concentration. I’m a writer so this romantic tendency is a habit I cannot kick for the life of me.

But drifting back into reality; honestly writing in a public setting makes writing easy when there is so much possibility in the air. So many people bustling back and forth; the scenery is delectably never the same. What more could a writer ask for than its muse to possibly walk through the door at any second?

Who cares if my thoughts are interrupted by the baby crying in the corner as her mother hushes her, reaching for that coffee with tired eyes and a forced smile? Who cares if everyone reads over my shoulder as I type, wondering what could possibly be that interesting that I am literally three inches from my computer screen with my tongue peeking out of my teeth.

I am a writer, I write in public… not for attention but for order and comfort and completion. You may now roll your eyes and walk away but I want to thank you for your unintentional help in building my work ethic.

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