Coryl Reef

writer, artist, and freelance editor // blogging about words, life, and all the rest


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Why I Don’t Write In Public

I’ve never been able to write my stories or poems in cafes, libraries, restaurants, or any form of public transit. There are three reasons for this.

Reason 1: I seek inspiration everywhere.

Reason 2: I can’t focus with so much going on around me.

Reason 3: I don’t want to.

I seek inspiration everywhere

There have been train rides spanning hours in length (from an hour and a half to five…) where I could have gotten some serious writing done. I would bring my laptop or a notebook and prepare to weave the words.

But I didn’t write anything, and I’ve stopped trying to when I find myself using public transit, waiting in a restaurant, or sitting in a park.

When I’m out and about in public, whether walking along a trail or in a busy place with lots of people, those are times I’m gathering inspiration for writing.

There’s something magical about letting myself connect with the world outside of me. Living a homebound life (working from home perk, I guess?) means that my time spent in public is limited. Even when I was a university student and out and about every day, I still kept my writing time to my computers and notebooks at home.

I can’t focus with so much going on around me

I have trouble focusing on tasks when my environment is either too bland or too busy. The level of background noise is something I always consider for various tasks.

When I blog, make art, work on freelance edits and design, and keep up with my household, I listen to music, TV shows, and Let’s Plays. But writing? Writing is one of those pieces of work that needs minimal or very specific background noise. Public spaces are places I don’t have control over, and that’s okay! But that means I’m gambling every time I try to focus on a project in a public space.

I don’t want to.

There’s nothing I can say to back up or validate this reason. It’s a simple one. I really don’t like writing with other people around me, so I don’t do it.


Do you write in public spaces or restaurants?

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1 Comment

  1. Georgie says:

    I find it really hard to focus in public places. I like that you find inspiration everywhere – I do as well, and I think it is valuable to take in everything around you. I’ve been doing it more lately and it’s not only kind of therapeutic but it reminds me that I’m being mindful as well.

    I tend to get stressed if I write in public anyway. I feel like time passes so quickly in a cafe, or in public, that writing will aggravate me. Unless I’m writing something quick like an email 😉 I do need a bit of an environment to write and in a public place, even though I love doing work in a cafe, when that work is writing, it does take me a while to wind down and get used to my surroundings.