Ask ChicagoNow: Where is your favorite place to write?

Ask ChicagoNow: Where is your favorite place to write?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds.

With so much collective experience, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions to the group.

Where is your favorite place to write?

“I’m an insomniac, so – sitting cross-legged on the floor, 25 or 6 to four. (Actually, sitting cross-legged on my bed, MacBook on 2 pillows in front of me, something purring next to me. If I’m lucky, it’s not a cat.)” — Michelle Babicz, Planet Michelle

“My enclosed front porch and the Old Town Ale House.” — Peter V. Bella, Interesting Chicago

“Weather permitting, I like to sit along the lake, especially near the Rogers Park area for some writing inspiration. I also adore the tiny alley that houses Asado Coffee.” — Sher BonDurant, On Tap in the Windy City

“My favorite place to write is anywhere the words come to me. Most often, I’m sitting in my living room. In warm weather, I’m on my balcony, which is divine.” — Jessica Gardner, Little Merry Sunshine

“I have a corner in my basement that serves as my ‘office’: a smaller TV, where my music collection been banished to, along with my beer glassware for those important tasting articles. Otherwise, I slip off to the nearest coffee place.” — Mark McDermott, The Beeronaut

“My favorite place to write is while I’m at work. It’s the only place I have access to a computer besides the library, and I’d rather be reading at the library than in front of a screen. I could, of course, write anywhere with a pen and a piece of paper but my handwriting turns to utter shit after a few paragraphs.” — Mandie Molina, The Parental Venting Machine

“I love writing in pen/paper. It gives you an extra chance to edit plus it makes me feel like Hemmingway, who almost always did that.
Problem is my handwriting has become so bad that if I wait too long, I can’t read it.” — Howard Moore, I’ve Got The Hippy Shakes

“My favorite place to write is at a coffee shop. I love the sounds and rhythm of a busy coffee shop. The grinding of the beans. The low murmur of conversation. I like to be in the middle of things happening. I like to overhear other people’s conversations and then imagine the context in which these snippets live. I love to people watch. Mostly I like the comfort of being around other people with the privilege of not having to engage with them. Sometimes I write with pen and paper, especially if I’m struggling. But once I get going I pull out the laptop. And, don’t forget the coffee. The coffee fuels the entire enterprise.” — Kerri K Morris, Cancer Is Not A Gift

“First thing in the morning in my lab office before the cases start coming.” — Les Raff, Getting More From Les

“Cafes and trains. I need rumbling around me. Some of my favorites are Burgeois Pig and Heritage. Although a hotel room or an Airbnb sounds like a great idea… And for some things, I need pen and paper too.” — Ana Martin Sagredo, Foreign Affairs: Children Edition

“In my home office on my iMac. But, if I had a Macbook Pro, it would be outside somewhere. I love to be outside.” — Colleen Boland Sall, Raising Teens Right

“Where I write is not important, can I wear my bathrobe is of paramount importance. It’s my lucky bathrobe.” — Bob Schneider, Politics Now

“I love writing in bed. The comfort and sense of relaxation helps me to just be, which is great for creating!” — Susan Schulhof, Looking for the Good

“I was working on a memoir several years ago when the publisher asked for 20,000 additional words. My wife and I went out to the southern end of Montrose Harbor with our camp chairs and a bottle of wine and a legal pad. It was a gorgeous day and the city, silhouetted in the far distance, looked beautiful and somehow peaceful. Sail boats came and went very close to the shore, entering or leaving the entrance to the harbor just to our right. The lake glistened, reflecting the afternoon sun in the southwestern sky, the wine flowed, and the words seemed to flow, too.” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

“A noisy food court can be a good option. I did my college writing at the Merchandist mart food court, where the multiple noises and voices provided perfect white noise. Plus it was a good hiding place where I didn’t run into people I knew and get interrupted.” — H. Van Howe, Pizza For Breakfast

“Anywhere, as long as people don’t disturb me. When I’m in a flow, I have to be able to keep going. That’s why I decided to sleep at a Airbnb a few weeks ago. Those two days were great, because I could choose my own rhythm. No kids, dogs or spouse disturbing me. I do have to admit that I was happy being outside again, and being able to go home after those 2 nights. I wrote about a 100 pages of the book that I am writing. A coffeeshop works for me, for short stories, but certainly not for a book. And I have to wear earplugs. My home office works better.” — Annemarie Verweij, Dutch Alien Lands in the U.S.

“My inspiration comes from taking long walks alone. The actually writing is always done in my home office, door closed, cat removed from the keyboard, on a giant desktop. I have never owned a tablet or laptop. Spiral notebooks filled with phrases, titles and words are scattered all over in an organized mess. No distractions, no noise, no disruptions. I need solitude to concentrate.” — Very Terry

If you have a question that you want answered, email it to mschwerha@tronc.com. Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Chicago Tribune

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