When you think of freelancing writers, chances are you picture someone hunched over a computer at the local coffee shop, typing furiously to meet deadline. Now, I love coffee shops just as much as the next person, but it's rare that I make one my office for the day. Instead, as I've mentioned before, I head to the art museum.
It may not be the first place you think of when you think, "Man, I gotta write the last 500 words of this impossible assignment and if I stare at my wall for another minute I'm going to go insane." But hear me out! Art museums are kind of the best place to work, and here's why:
Free WiFi. Guys, I live for free WiFi. But I hate places where you feel obligated to match the amount you spend on food or drinks to the amount of time you spend on the computer. So the art museum, where the WiFi and (in DC) admission is free, is the perfect place to set up shop for the day.
Quiet and creative atmosphere. One of the things I love about museums is the energy in the air. It's hard not to be motivated when surrounded by such gorgeous works of art, and I've often used paintings to inspire random short fiction exercises. Plus, it's super quiet, but not so quiet that you don't have a little bit of background noise. People whispering, feet shuffling on hard wood, the sounds of paper brochures folding. It's just enough to keep you from feeling totally alone.
No food allowed. When I'm home or at a coffee shop, I tend to nibble. Just one more soda, or coffee, or cookie. But at the museum, I can't do that. I can't grab a bag of Skittles and distract myself by gorging on them. Instead, I bring a simple lunch to enjoy on the big front steps that overlook the National Mall, do some people watching or reading, and get away from the temptation of sweets for the rest of my work day. Sure, sometimes I have to go out and get a caffeine fix, but I only give myself 30 mins to one hour to get my butt back in a seat at the museum, limiting the damage I can do.
Do you have a favorite non-coffee shop place to write?
Bridey is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.
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