The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD: Where Do You Write?

They say that Tolstoy used to write in the town square. The faces of the people inspired him.

I’m not sure if that’s true. I heard someone say it on a TV show once.

But it’s interesting.

It makes me think of the people I usually see writing in public. Is that Tolstoy over there, playing Scrabble on his laptop at the coffee shop, scanning the room through glasses without any prescription to see if anyone is paying attention to the Writer in their midst? I don’t think it is.

I’m not saying I haven’t found myself pacing my house, unable to type another word until I get out of this uninspiring prison. At those times I have found it helpful to leave my work space and go out into the world to let new thoughts invade my beleaguered brain. It can be like putting a fresh pair of eyes on a problem.

But that doesn’t change the fact that, for me, writing has always been a solitary thing. I find people distracting in general, but especially when I’m trying to write. I need privacy to celebrate my good sentences and lament my bad ones. I can’t take that shit to Starbucks. People would think I was a lunatic, laughing out loud at something I just wrote and tapping my foot to the Bowie in my headphones. Just ask anyone at work.

There are as many ways to write as there are those who do it. Some of the best minds I know belong to people who thrive on chaos. For them, a busy coffee shop or public park might be the perfect place to write.

Where do you write? Do you ever leave your work space and venture out into the big bad world?

About Doran Simmons

I'm a writer and a camper and a keeper of fish. I was trained as a flight instructor and work day jobs and write nonsense for public consumption (hopefully).

9 comments on “QOTD: Where Do You Write?

  1. The Running Son
    May 23, 2013

    “Desert writing-Be”

    I write

    in Joshua Tree.
    California to be exact, near
    the National monument.

    I write hunched over, thinking
    about calcium humps and right-keys.
    I also write ego-split,
    in font of an audience–a night-work

    of stars, glowing monitors
    I hope monitor
    my writing. I write my
    heart like its lite,

    light piecing dark
    heavy and responsible
    tonsils
    dividing inner fights by nite-lite.

    I write alone. Gave
    the car away on loan.
    Hoped one day to pay
    my fone-bill, hear the tone,

    lovely lady,
    hear her say,
    “The tone to write in,
    is Be”

    😉 Jim Aldrich.

  2. The Running Son
    May 23, 2013

    Reblogged this on The RunningFather Blog.

  3. tjtherien
    May 23, 2013

    I write where ever I am, but less so in public now a days, mostly an economic thing. I was that guy sitting at the table scribbling in the note pad in a bar, or a café, or a coffee shop, though you wouldn’t find me in too many Starbucks. I thrive in Chaos which is odd because lately I’ve cloistered myself off from such an environment to write.

  4. J. Gabriel Allan
    May 23, 2013

    I percolate in public.
    I prewrite in my head.
    I draft and redraft and redraft in private. With the tv on so I feel like someone’s home.

  5. Anabolic Anartist
    May 23, 2013

    I prefer my desk though I have been known to lay on my sofa and write there even the bed has been put to good use with many a fine word jotted there too. I prefer my desk as my keyboard/pc is there and then I can read what i have written as my hand writing can sometimes be challenging to say the least.

  6. Anabolic Anartist
    May 23, 2013

    I am very predictable in this respect, i write at my desk though sometimes i take my notpad and plonk my backside on the sofa and write there sometimes even in bed the majority of the time at my desk

  7. Bryan Pajari
    May 23, 2013

    I Write

    I write in the presents
    of natures best friend,
    I choose to proceed
    throughout the forest breeze,
    to reach the waterfalls of
    Lackimas Lake.

    I write in my head,
    but often drift of to my
    imagination where
    I feel the watcher
    comes out the most.

    I write on the lady’s
    leg where I often lust
    my vision away,
    with out sight there
    is not detail in my words,
    as if I were born sightless.

    • J. Gabriel Allan
      May 23, 2013

      Beautiful use of words, my friend. Thank you for sharing!

  8. kdavisfanclub
    May 24, 2013

    Wow, what a great topic and some mega comments here too, I guess you have to go with what works for you. For me it is all about the state of mind I am in at the time of writing, when the muse takes me, I can find myself writing on a train, in a cafe; almost anywhere. But i do prefer solitude, a library (We are blessed with a new library near me that boasts study halls above, where it is lovely and quiet and free to use, so I have been to sit and write for a few hours on occasion, just wonderful) or my own home but absent my beautiful wife and children (I love them more than cheese but I can’t jot more than a few words with the incessant interuption). I think it is the interuption that is the point here for me, I can write in public (and enjoy it) until someone or something interupts me. I appreciate all the comments here but J.Gabriel Allan’s one about the telly acting a pretense that someone is home was somewhat profoundly sad and superb, a real treat. Thank you for this, Jim, awesome. 🙂

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