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As I wrote my upcoming book, The Dark Proposal, I learned a lot about myself as a writer. One of the things I learned is that I write best outside of the house.

Yes, I’m one of those coffeehouse writers. Or Panera writers if such a term exists.

I was able to write at home, but not as well as I did at Starbucks or Panera Bread. There was something about being out and in public that fueled my desire to write as many pages and words as possible. At first, I thought it was the fact that I had spent precious money (this was before I had a full-time job) on my skinny vanilla latte (Starbucks), or lemonade or cappuccino (Panera). Also, I had driven 15 minutes to that spot, so I might as well bang out 5 pages if possible. I couldn’t just walk into the place and turn around. And besides, I had found, and maybe even fought over (I mean that part light-heartedly), an outlet for my laptop. So there was certainly no way I could sit down only to immediately get up and leave, throwing the full cup of whatever beverage I had away and upsetting whoever I stole the power outlet from first. Because, I went through all the trouble to get a comfortable spot, so I definitely had to write my book.

But as time went on, I realized that it wasn’t going to Starbucks or Panera Bread that disciplined me; I felt energized being around other people. The more crowded the place was, the more I felt motivated to create my story and develop my characters. It’s odd and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe its because I needed a different atmosphere that my home could not provide. Maybe because there was nothing distracting me, like the TV or my iTunes. Or maybe writing a book motivated me to get the hell out of the house.

It could also be that like so many other writers, I don’t get a chance to get out and socialize because my work is a solitary one. So, writing at my favorite spots are my own chance to get out and mingle, even though I really don’t.

No matter what the answer is, I guarantee you I will be returning to Starbucks or Panera on weekends, and possibly weeknights, to write my sequel to my book. There’s just something about being out in public that inspires me…

So, where is the best place to write for you? Are you homebound or do you need to get out and go somewhere in order to get lost in your own world?

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