Before you start deciding where you want to go to NaNo, you need to consider what you need from the place you’re going to NaNo. For me, I need food and drinks – I prefer the convenience of purchasing something there vs bring something with me, wifi – updating my word count as I go is incredibly motivating to me, SEATING – I can’t just sit with my computer on my lap and write, not unless my feet are up in front of me. I don’t have the leg length required for that.
Once you’ve figured out what you need, and how long you’ll be there…
- Coffee shops – Starbucks, Caribou, local places. First off, always support local when you can. Then, consider the hours they’re open and how that works for your schedule.
- Libraries – some have private rooms you can rent – sometimes for free – and some just have workspace out in the open.
- Perkins (and other comparable open all night restaurants) They have the perks of a bigger menu and usually pretty comfy booths. They don’t all have wifi, but that’s what Hotspots are for, right?
- Hotels – lots of hotels have small private rooms you can rent – sometimes incredibly cheap or free. If you’re hosting a write in, that kind of privacy can be great. Bonus of bringing your own snacks and frequently free wifi in common spaces.
- Community centers – tons of options for community centers, from private rooms to lobby tables. Again, you can usually bring your own food and there’s often free wifi.
Some of these places require more forethought than others – reserving rooms, etc. Once you figure out what you need, you can pick and place. After you’ve chosen your location, don’t forget to consider the ways you can be kind to your chosen location.
- If they sell food or drinks, buy them there. Don’t take up a table and stop paying customers from using it, so you can drink free ice water all day.
- Clean up after yourself – I hate that I even have to say this, but I’ve cleaned up enough trash after write-ins to know it needs to be said. Yes, they pay people to clean up, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a decent human being.
- Be conscious of how full the space is and of when the space is full. Maybe midday is the best choice for the coffee shop write in, and in the evenings the library is empty.
- Watch your volume, particularly when you’re part of a group. It’s easy to get loud without realizing it.
- Ask before you descend and stay. Some places don’t allow you to stay eight hours. Know the rules before you set up shop.
Good luck lovies!