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View Full Version : Writing in a bar... totally lame?



SmartAsh
04-06-2008, 12:33 AM
I have a bit of a problem...

Today is my roommate's birthday, and we're having a big bash for her at one of the most popular bars in town tonight... and I'm obligated to be there the entire time because I'm her DD (from about 6:30-2:30). Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but inspiration struck this morning and I have to get these thoughts out of my head and on paper. I've been writing for several hours already today, and am not ready to stop...

So, do I take a notebook and an ink pen (I don't think I'm brave enough to take my laptop around all the drunks :) )? Or do I anxiously watch the clock and count the hours until I can get home? Have any of you ever been in a similar situation?

HELP!

Siddow
04-06-2008, 01:20 AM
Why don't you go home and write, then come back to pick her up later?

(I just typed 'lager' instead of 'later', lol)

BlackViolet13
04-06-2008, 01:27 AM
Are you close with your roommate? The reason I ask is that you refer to her as just your roommate and that you're obligated to be there, and not your BFF or anything like that. I'd say if you're just there to be her driver and aren't necessarily close to her or her friends, I don't see a big problem with the following:

Drop her off and set a designated time and place for you to pick her up, then go home or to a nearby coffeeshop, cafe, or whatever. And of course you can be on call, just in case her night is totally lame or if she gets too wasted ;)
Hang out with her for a few hours and then go to one of the above options (that way you're not too anti-social, and worse case scenario, you end up having a fab time and actually WANT to stay).
Find somebody else you trust to be her DD, and just stay home.But if you are actually friends, I think you should make an appearance. Or at least compromise with the second situation. Even understanding your situation (trust me, I do!) I'd feel a bit hurt if my friend didn't come to my party, or if she stayed in a corner writing all night.

And regardless of your "closeness," just remember that whatever you choose, you still have to live with her :scared:

DamaNegra
04-06-2008, 01:46 AM
That's too lame. Can't you just write down all the important ideas right now, so you won't forget, and flesh them out after you come back from the party?

bluntforcetrauma
04-06-2008, 01:51 AM
Let the idea rest until you get home. Forget all about it and enjoy yourself. There may be some things you will hear or see during the evening that will add to your story.

brokenfingers
04-06-2008, 01:53 AM
If you have a pocket recorder bring that along and talk your story out.

Snowstorm
04-06-2008, 05:24 AM
Take your notebook and pen! Find a quiet corner if you can and write! You won't look weird, people will be interested in what you're doing and will probably be jealous they don't have the backbone or imagination to it.

My husband and I wrote some flash fiction in an outdoor beer fest. We found a piece of grass under a tree and had a blast. The setting and activity generated new ideas! Go for it!

SmartAsh
04-06-2008, 08:25 AM
Okay guys, thanks for the advice :)

I just got home... had a great time while there & ended up being able to bow out around midnight (found her another DD and she was cool with it). So, now I'm going to go write awhile!

Richard White
04-06-2008, 09:01 AM
Been there before.

For my first tie-in novel, I managed to get a two week extension on when the chapter breakdowns were due because of a trip I had planned to Scotland and England. Needless to say, out of the fourteen nights we were in the UK, I spent eight of them writing while we were hanging out in one of the pubs we were visiting.

It made for an interesting way to break the ice also with the locals, most of whom were surprised there were "Yanks" in their pubs (we tended to stay away from the bigger cities on this trip, except for the week in Glasgow to see the World Kendo Championships). At least two of the pubs were written into the novel because of the good times I had there.

(not to mention I received several free pints for the "odd Yank writer". Apparently they recognize writers do well with alcohol in their system. *grin*)

timewaster
04-06-2008, 04:01 PM
I think you need to get on with life. Writing can always wait. I'm a Mum of four. I write so that I can drop everything and watch my kids play rugby or spend time with them.
Writing is something I slot in around everything else. I occasionally take work with me if I
am going to be hanging around a lot and I never do it. It is always more fun to watch what is going on and talk to people. Writing is not that important that you need to sacrifice relationships for it.

steveg144
04-06-2008, 06:14 PM
That's too lame. Can't you just write down all the important ideas right now, so you won't forget, and flesh them out after you come back from the party?

Great idea. Outline it now, with a few snippets to remind you of what you wanted to say in a particular paragraph etc, and then just go and try to enjoy the evening. The writing will percolate quietly and you'll be rejuvenated when you get home.

yttar
04-06-2008, 06:16 PM
I've taken my notebook to bars before, but I usually don't get much writing done there. For me, it's more of an excuse to give me something to do when my husband and his friends all go outside because one of them needs to smoke (since MN is smoke-free) so I'm not just sitting at the table by myself, staring off into space. Also if their conversation turns annoying or to things I just don't care about, I have a reason to ignore them. Plus, I've learned that my friends are at least semi-interested in my writing, and one of them is going for a minor in creative writing (and he's proven to be a fairly good critique partner too).

But then, I also have my notebook out when I go to family events too. Again, I usually don't write. But I'm not much of a people person, and even though I should be able to get along with my family or my husband's family . . . I just find it easier to get along with the characters I write about. Of course this annoys my mother-in-law, but mostly because she sees me "always working on something" and it makes her jealous because she has dreams of writing the "great American children's novel" herself, but her schedule's usually too busy for her to fit it in or something. Usually they're curious about what I write and it tends to be a ground-breaker for talking to people. (Mostly, they all want me to just finish something so they can finally read it.)

Yttar

Haggis
04-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Many of my best stories started out on bev naps.

Just sayin'.

thethinker42
04-09-2008, 08:45 PM
So, do I take a notebook and an ink pen (I don't think I'm brave enough to take my laptop around all the drunks :) )? Or do I anxiously watch the clock and count the hours until I can get home? Have any of you ever been in a similar situation?

HELP!

I've done it. I was waiting for some friends at a sports bar and brought my notebook (NOT my laptop). Someone asked what I was doing, and I made the mistake of mentioning that I was writing. OOPS. The drunk who asked then launched into a lengthy -- L.E.N.G.T.H.Y. -- dissertation about why I should write about this bar and the people in it.

So...writing in a bar is no big deal to me...I just don't mention it to any of the other bar patrons if someone should ask.

Phaeal
04-09-2008, 08:57 PM
I much prefer cafes where lots of other people are writing or working on assignments or even drawing and painting -- lots of these in Providence, a big college town. There's one guy at the Coffee Exchange who will even work on his custom action figures over a few lattes!

In this kind of environment, you're not the odd one out, and usually no one bothers you, and the bohemian atmosphere is inspiring.

Bars, it would depend on the din and obnoxiousness level. ;)

Red-Green
04-09-2008, 09:00 PM
I've actually gotten some good writing done in bars--after all I was an English GTA and we practically lived in our fave bar--and I'm never ashamed or uneasy at taking a notebook and pen with me to write whenever, wherever. In fact, the first short story I ever had published--the first draft was written on a cocktail napkin, because I had failed to bring my notebook to the bar.

TrainofThought
04-09-2008, 10:47 PM
Iíve written in my journal at bars, restaurants, etc. If Iím by myself, I love to write about my day, the people and whether or not the drinks or food are good enough to return. As a matter of fact, Iíd rather write in a bar drinking a nice cold beer than be at a bar to party. It just isnít me anymore, and Iím anti-social, so writing stops people from approaching. :)

willietheshakes
04-09-2008, 11:01 PM
I've tried writing in bars, but the naked ladies on stage look at me oddly...

thethinker42
04-10-2008, 12:25 AM
I've tried writing in bars, but the naked ladies on stage look at me oddly...

I don't think that's because you're writing...

*ducks and runs*

mscelina
04-10-2008, 12:27 AM
I write in bars all the time. Even when I'm not 'working' (because a bartender who has time to write generally isn't a busy bartender) I'll take my laptop, have a couple of beers, and use the generally annoying noise of the bar atmosphere tomake me focus in what I'm doing.

fringe benefit of that is giving people the evil eye when they ask me a stupid question like "What are you doing?"

Always fun.

SmartAsh
04-10-2008, 12:57 AM
I didn't explain the environment of the particular bar very well :) Imagine hundreds of people dancing on tables and chairs, singing along with the house band (several musicians clad in lederhosen and a lead singer who plays the accordion...), and drinking beer brewed on-site. I don't know what I was thinking :) The atmosphere is far too infectious to avoid participating in the fun...

mscelina
04-10-2008, 12:59 AM
ROFL! Yes, that would be different. In that kind of bar, I'd be drunk, singing, and swinging spare lederhosen above my head while forcing chubby men to do belly shots of tequila.

Laurie Champion
04-12-2008, 12:33 PM
J. R. Moehringer's memoir THE TENDER BAR comes to my mind. If you like this thread, you'll love the memoir. The bar almost becomes a character, and the author is writing a book in the bar. It's an amazing memoir.

CDarklock
04-12-2008, 12:49 PM
So, do I take a notebook and an ink pen (I don't think I'm brave enough to take my laptop around all the drunks :) )?

Okay, this is the thing.

Number one, the drunks aren't that bad. You can take out the laptop.

Number two, people writing in bars are HOT. They immediately top my radar, and I'm all over it. Provided they're female. Or I've had enough to drink. (Give me enough liquor, I'll screw lawn furniture. I've seen pictures.)

So maybe you won't get much writing done, but you'll have a good evening.

MichaelDeVere
04-12-2008, 05:48 PM
I didn't explain the environment of the particular bar very well :) Imagine hundreds of people dancing on tables and chairs, singing along with the house band (several musicians clad in lederhosen and a lead singer who plays the accordion...), and drinking beer brewed on-site. I don't know what I was thinking :) The atmosphere is far too infectious to avoid participating in the fun...


LMAO!! I know that exact bar!! Have fun and write it in later.

Stew21
04-12-2008, 06:10 PM
As a bartender, on slow Monday night shifts, I would write longhand behind the bar - I wrote the first draft of my first novel that way.
I've gone to a bar as a patron and written (laptop and longhand).