Just as I was getting ready to go home, dreading the two hour commute by train, bus, and foot—thank goodness it’s not really snowing yet— I saw this article on the subway as a writing environment. Many people, including me, spend hours a week on the subway reading; few write.
I do occasionally write on the train, but I prefer not to since the random passenger glancing over my shoulder is distracting. Emily St. John Mandel has a different view:
There’s a certain paradoxical privacy in working on the subway. It’s New York City, and we’ve all seen everything down here: if you start writing on the train nobody’s likely to give you a second glance, unless of course you’re writing on your laptop and they’re planning on stealing it at the next stop. Except on the rare elevated sections of track, your phone won’t ring. The odds of running into anyone you know are fairly slim. . . You’re out in the world, surrounded by other people, but there’s enough solitude in that crowd to get some writing done.