When Writing At Home Doesn’t Cut It

When Writing At Home Doesn’t Cut It

Summertime Lake Michigan (Photo by me)

Here I am, sitting at my desk in my apartment overlooking the city, laptop screen tilted upward, Microsoft Word open, and moleskin notebook with ballpoint pen propped at my elbow.  My fingers hover above the home row keys, waiting for a wave of creativity to press them down.  I am prepared to clack away at these keys until I’m spent.

I take a deep breath and….

Suddenly, I need to reorganize my desk. There’s just waaay much clutter.  Too much clutter in the entire room, actually, so I might as well just clean the living room.  And while I’m in the cleaning mood, I should probably wash those dishes.  And I’ve been meaning to scrub the oven. Sheba’s litter box needs a good scrubbing too.  I should probably just scrub the whole bathroom.  Oh, and the bathroom rugs need to be washed.  Might as well do all the laundry.  And since I’m on laundry, I might as well reorganize the closet.

Before I know it, my house is immaculate.  But those pages I intended to churn out were non-existent.  Once again, I have allowed myself to get distracted.

If you are like me, and are easily distracted from your writing, the first step isn’t to beat yourself up (I’ve tried this.  It only made me want to not write even more).  The first step is to figure out what’s not working.

Writing at home just doesn’t work for me; there’s always too much to do there.

There.  I’ve admitted it.  Great.  Now, what?

Well, my confession has allowed me to discover yet another great thing about Chicago.  The possibilities of places to write are endless.  No longer in denial, I turned to a few writer-friends for some suggestions.  Below is a list of some recurring places.

1. Metropolis

(Photo Courtesy of MetropolisCoffee.com)

1039 West Granville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday 6:30am–8pm
Saturday 7am–8pm
Sunday 7:30am–8pm


2. La Columbe

(Photo Courtesy of LaColombe.com)

West Loop
955 W Randolph St,
Chicago, IL 60607

Wicker Park:
1552 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

5158 N Clark St,
Chicago, IL 60640

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Sunday 7am-7pm


3. Harold Washington Library’s Winter Garden

(Photo Courtesy of ChiPubLib.org)

Top Floor of Harold Washington Library
400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

Library Hours of Operation:
**Please Note: Room may be closed to private events**
Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm
Friday-Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm


4. Along Lake Michigan

IMG_8151 (2)

(Photo Courtesy of Me)

You choose the location.

It is typically available until 11pm
And then there’s this very unique bonus location, suggested by Professor Nami Mun:

5. The Red Line


(Photo Courtesy of TransitChicago.com/redline)

“The Red Line is great because you get to see a lot of different people and spaces while you ride and write”

-Nami Mun

Starting Point: 7519 N Paulina St., Chicago, IL 60626
End Point: 14 W. 95th St., Chicago, IL 60620
Ride from one end to the other and back
Hours of Operation: 24/7 see website for timetables

Since I’m off for the next two weeks, I plan to try out some of these locations. If you’d like to join me or know of any writing other gems, let me know!