To get out of the house where I am staying and get some new scenery, I have developed a routine of going to Starbucks every couple days to wander around the internet and get work done. Turns out, this has been surprisingly effective.
I am not ever successful at writing poems in crowded places like coffee shops or on the subway--my bed is a much more comfortable place for that more intimate work--but I have found that I get a lot of other writing and writing-related work done when out of the house and at a place like Starbucks. Maybe because I am hopped up on caffeine or because I know I will only want to sit in a metal chair so long, I get down to business. I have sent out more poems in the past two weeks than I did in all of 2012, I am much more focused on reading poetry and music news, and I am more efficient about drafting, editing, and posting on the blog.
One of the my favorite writers, the late Nora Ephron, believed in the theory that every person must have a "third place," that is, a place that is not their home or their office. More and more, I understand where she was coming from. Regularly visiting the same coffee shop is both a comforting and exhilarating new part of my writing routine. New writing ideas or projects occur to me while I trek the steep hill to the business district, and I also feel a sense of joy and good fortune when I get a seat near an outlet or the barista remembers my order and name. The room is also often abuzz with working energy, every seat packed with people reading, writing, purusing social media, and talking.
The coffee shop--even a corporate one like Starbucks--is a place for community and ideas, and that atmosphere is infectious. In the future, even when I am moved to a new city, I am going to try to remember the importance of packing up my laptop and getting out the house to send out poems or blog.