Creative writers are technically and physically able to write wherever they have pen and paper or a working laptop. Yet finding distraction-free (and free of charge!) space can prove difficult for any writer, especially so for those prone to distraction as I so often am. In an endeavor to pinpoint a few writing-conducive locations, I decided to do some fieldwork. I spent an hour and a half at each of several Houston spots, with Wi-Fi off, airplane mode on, and just my creative juices flowing. Below are my top three discoveries.
3.) Houston Central Library
Although Houston is dotted with a labyrinth of smaller libraries, the Central Library is both expansive and located in the heart of downtown. Parking can be tricky, so come prepared, but visiting the library itself is entirely free of charge. They have couches and tables to do work on, plus, because it’s a library, it’s also the ideal place to do research for your writing, whether that be historical fact-checking or world-building investigation.
Total Word Count: 932
2.) Campesino Coffee House
Coffee shops, as well known as they are for studying, can oftentimes be cramped and overcrowded. Campesino Coffee House, however, located at 2602 Waugh Dr. and inside of an actual house, is spacious and airy. There are couches, chairs, tables, and an outdoor space for when the weather is (oh so rarely!) pleasant. CCH offers both coffee and food—I recommend the horchata latte and the pumpkin empanada—for munching on as you write.
Total Word Count: 958
- InPrint Writing Café
Every Friday between 9 am and 12 pm, InPrint offers a free writing lab based out of their home offices in the Menil neighborhood. The writing café is in the first room as you walk in, where several tables are set up. The room is completely silent aside from the clacking of the computer keyboards. This provides a great environment to get some serious work done and the motivation of other writers sharing the same space and working towards similar goals. InPrint also offers tea, coffee, and soda in the kitchen area for just a 50 cent donation.
Total Word Count: 1,137
I know my word count was not that high for Agora, largely because I used this time to revise, but I HAD to include it. Although this Greek coffee shop can get crowded, it is one of my favorite places to write as well as one of my favorite places to gain inspiration. The people watching is superb, and I have drawn inspiration for many a poem or short story from my observations here.
Total Word Count: 529
I’m no expert, but whatever works for you, finding the right creative spot is imperative to writing success. When searching for that spot, here are a few questions to consider: Ambient noise or complete silence? Indoor or outdoor? Academic space or secular? Lots of people or relative solitude? I recommend you experiment in various locales until you find that sweet spot between productivity and creativity. Happy writing!