Top 5 places to write outdoors

Swimming. Sundresses. Street fairs. There are so many things to love about summer, but writing outside may be my favorite. I have a few months to go before I begin my new job, and I’ve been trying to get some sun and catch up with reading and writing in the meantime. Here are some of my all time favorite spots to ponder ideas, scribble down thoughts or seriously write.

1. On a city bench (eavesdropping)

I learned this trick at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio back when I was a junior in high school. There’s no better source of inspiration for a story than picking up and trying to piece together scraps of conversation from daily life. Listening to entire conversations is okay, too. I mean when you’re out in the public it’s fair game, right?

2. The back patio of my house

It’s away from the commotion, but close to an endless supply of snacks and San Pellegrino!

3. The second floor balcony of the Concord Suites in Avalon, NJ

Each year since I was about 11 my family has gone down to the Jersey Shore and stayed at the same hotel, the Concord Suites. The second story of the building has a wide balcony with tables that look out over the street. I love the clear, breezy nights when you can see the stars, and the combination of hushed conversation of and the hum of the ocean makes for the perfect background sound. Every year I try to write at least one poem from up there.

4. The bench and table at St. Joseph’s Lake in Notre Dame, IN

I never actually wrote here, but my roommate Megan and I would often go for runs around the lakes at school, and each time we passed this spot I’d vow to come back with my notebook. Basically, there’s a charming little writing desk off in a tree-shrouded area beside a beautiful lake, and I never actually see anyone using it.  I’ll definitely have to find some time away from bookstore-shopping and tailgating to come back here during a football weekend.

5. Sitting outside a café 

Okay I may be cheating a little bit with this one, because obviously a café is an ideal spot for writing. But writing OUTSIDE a café  is most ideal!  I love the outdoor tables certain coffee shops have, where you can sit with your laptop, enjoy your latte and the warm weather and still observe people on the street.

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