5 Places to Write That Aren’t Coffee Shops

The picture is familiar — a writer, furiously typing away at a laptop, sipping a beverage, contentedly pausing here and there to people watch as people come and go from the coffee shop. The first point I’ll make about this stereotype is that it doesn’t represent every writer. Coffee shops are expensive, for starters. Plenty of writers have idiosyncrasies about their environmental preferences, as well. Maya Angelou, for example, noted how she enjoyed writing in longhand on a bed. The second point is that sometimes it’s good to get out of your rut and try a new environment, simply because new places to write can be inspiring and engage your creativity.

So, if you’re not going to use coffee shops for writing, where can you go?

1. Parks

For years, scientific studies have shown that time in nature can improve physical and emotional wellbeing, helping to relieve stress. A more recent set of 12 studies showed a correlation between time in nature and a better sense of authenticity.

park places to write

You know what good content requires?

A relaxed writer who knows who they are and what they want to achieve with their words.

Many parks have gazebos or other open shelters. Some of these even offer live electrical outlets where you could plug in your laptop or tablet. Even if parks near you don’t offer this type of accommodation, a simple old blanket to sit on and inexpensive laptop shade can enable you to get out of your usual writing setup.

2. Bookstores

Libraries long have one of the best places to write because of the ridiculous number of books available for reference. The knowledge and assistance of trained librarians is still priceless regardless of which genre or topic you’ve selected to write about. But bookstores have their own flavor — even their own new-book smell. It can be inspiring to construct your books in the place you want them to end up. Bookstores also give you another place aside from the library where you know everyone you encounter is supportive of wordsmiths. They allow you to conduct hands-on market research, too. You can see what’s coming out and how stores present the content.

bookstore places to write

3. Museums/Art houses

Museums and art houses are great places to write because they let you surround yourself with beautiful and significant artifacts. These can find their way into your content in different ways, especially if you write in an area like historical fiction. But they also are full of creator stories. As you discover what’s behind the scenes of every display or exhibit, you can get a sense of solidarity with those who worked hard to express themselves and make something from nothing. Museums and art houses also can help you solidify what you do or don’t want to include in developing your voice, as you can consider why the different displays and exhibits do or don’t appeal.

museum places to write

4. Gyms or community centers

The reputation of writing itself is…well, on the nerdier side. But that doesn’t mean writers also can’t be good athletes. Seeing and hearing movement has a way of telling your brain to get going and be alert, too. If you get stuck on a scene or line, you’re in a safe space to switch gears and let the subconscious, more creative parts of your brain work on the problem. Even if you aren’t on a team or can’t shoot hoops worth crap, you can walk the track or treadmill or pedal on a stationary bike at a nice, easy pace.

gym shoes

5. Hospital lobbies

OK, this one admittedly might seem a little bit morbid on a list of places to write. But hospitals hold a paradox. On the one hand, they’re a perfect writing location because they have a way of immediately helping you understand what to prioritize in life. You quickly see the projects you believe are worth your legacy and which ones aren’t. You can feel an urgency to complete those legacy projects before it’s too late. On the other hand, hospitals contain enormous creativity and innovation. They are meant to alleviate pain and suffering. So do/are good stories. So, hospital lobbies can be oddly motivating. They clarify your sense of purpose and remind you that kind, supportive people (which writers need) do exist in the world.


Most of the time, I’m OK working in the same chair at the same desk with the same keyboard with the same coffee mug. But sometimes, I feel like if I have to open a document in my usual space, I’ll lose it. Everybody needs a little variety once in a while, even if they have a good environment and routine. So, when the time comes when you feel too antsy to work where you usually do, give one of the above options a shot.

Image credits:
Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay
Hermann Kollinger from Pixabay
StockSnap from Pixabay
Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Parentingupstream from Pixabay