3 things I miss about writing in a public place

I used to have a tradition that I called Saturday writing day. These Saturdays got their start at the gym. I’d then shower at the gym then head over to the Mosaic District for a nice big breakfast and then find a spot to spend my day writing. I wrote many of my past articles this way.

Here’s what I miss about writing in a public place:

1. The energy of the crowd

I used to get inspiration for what I was writing about when I was around people. There are a lot of overachievers in Northern Virginia where I live. So on Saturdays, I found myself around grad students, folks just catching up on their day job, and others working their side hustles. 

It was nice to sit there with my laptop at Caboose Commons or some other place, grab some lunch, and just write. It was even relaxing in some ways. There was also an energy in the room (at least for me). The energy would help me see things in different ways in what I was writing or editing. 

Maybe these Saturdays will come back eventually. I miss the vibe still after a year of not doing it. Will the same crowd return? Who knows? I’ve stopped wondering or contemplating about post-pandemic life lately.

2. Change of scenery

I miss the change of scenery that writing out in a public place would give me. While I’m fortunate to have a nice home office and other space to work, I remain housebound because of the pandemic. I’ve seen people still out with laptops in restaurants I’m just not ready to do that yet.

Not that I’m superstitious, but I used to feel better about my written product after I wrote and reviewed it on a Saturday writing day and then back at home. I’ve gone stir crazy more than once a week this past year. I just don’t see myself sitting out in one of my old writing haunts typing at my laptop wearing a mask.

As spring turns into summer where I live, I see myself rethinking how I can write outside more even if it’s just in my backyard. We’ll see how that bears work as the next few weeks drag on.

3. New ideas

While my article writing is on hiatus, I still need to stay sharp with idea generation. Getting out of the house used to be integral for generating new ideas. I’d pack a Moleskine notebook in my laptop bag to capture ideas while people came and went from the tables around me.

I can still generate ideas rather quickly with my non-linear thinking (Thanks, Dyslexia!) I miss the energy and fresh perspective I used to feel from being out of my home office.

Future thoughts

The future return of Saturday writing day would mark a return to normalcy for me. But even when it returns will the same vibe return with it? I don’t know how I’d take it if I embarked on a return to Saturday writing day to find out that everybody else had moved on during the pandemic.