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Monday, August 5, 2013

One Writer's Comfort Zone Is Another's Coffee Cafe

My current favorite corner
When I first began writing seriously, I had environmental limitations. Or maybe I should say ambiance requirements. I had a standard computer on a computer table in the corner of the bedroom of our townhouse. The room was bright, seaside decor and I looked out my window on green grass and the nicely landscaped yard of my neighbor. The house had to be quiet. My coffee cup sat to my right. I couldn't write under any other circumstances. I couldn't go longhand. I couldn't have music playing. I had to be in that room. A good deal of my writing took place in my head first - in the car. But when I put it to print, my room and my corner were the only way I could write.

I had friends who loved to write in coffee cafes, or to music or in airports. Of course I couldn't try that without a laptop. And I couldn't create writing longhand.

Eventually, my restrictions took a toll. When I traveled, no writing got done. Making notes on paper were possible but no real progress. My book would never get done. I got a laptop. Theoretically, I would now be able to carry it everywhere and write anywhere. It didn't work that easy for me. Noise bothered me. I was easily distracted. I was working full time outside the home at that time. My opportunities to write were few - fifteen minutes before I left for work and a couple of hours on Sunday.

A company in trouble changed my writing hangups. Work became so slow, I'd sit for hours with nothing to do. I'd offer to help others, but everyone was in the same situation. Total boredom drove me to emailing myself chapters from home to work. Within a few days, I found I could write, answer the phone and get right back to the story. People would be walking back and forth in front of my office, talking, laughing, whatever and I didn't hear a thing. Salesmen would come in to tell me something and I would answer with glazed over eyes only half hearing them. "Are you writing again?" was a question I heard often.

My favorite places to write nowadays are my corner in our bedroom or in the RV. But at least now I can write anywhere, for any amount of time with almost any noise, except for football. Something about the constant roar of a football game on TV drives me crazy.

Although I ended up out of work when the company folded, I'm pretty happy they trained me well for my writing career. Sick, I know, but I do have my priorities.

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  1. I found I can write just about anywhere, my problem is when. When I do get an idea on a roll, I can't stop or I have an idea and have to get up in the middle of the night and get it down on the computer. If I'm on the road or can't write it down at least, the idea will become an obsession until I can get it down and fly with it. It's almost like reading one of those 'you just can't put it down' type of books. ;-)

    1. When can be a problem. I like your obsessiveness!

  2. Hi, Brenda! I enjoyed reading about your writing evolution. All writers are different when it comes to their writing environments. I still use a small desk in the corner of my apartment where I can look out the sliding glass door at . . . the other apartments. But when I am writing, I need music!

    I'm glad you we able to find your zone so you can write anywhere, at anytime. Except, of course, during football.

    1. Hi Chrys. So true. Thanks for stopping by!