Finding a place to work that works

Three snow days one week. Three days of teachers striking the next week. Two weeks of spring break. Add to that the hubby’s work schedule changing so that for half the day—the morning half when I normally work—he’s sitting at his desk, just feet from me. UGH! Writing became impossible.

I need my family to not be near me when I write. I am the most creative in the morning, after a cup of coffee and before I start talking to anyone. When the words are flowing from my brain and out my fingers into the keyboard, having someone pop in (usually at the most inopportune moment in the creative process, or in the middle of a steamy scene that needs concentration) to say “Mom, can you…” or “Honey, where is…” makes me a little psychotic.

So, taking the advice of a writer friend, once school was back in session this week, I got up, showered, packed up my computer, and headed to McDonald’s. I chose McD’s because of cheap coffee; that was the only thought in that process. What I found was damn near magical!

I got my coffee and muffin and found a seat with my back against the wall facing the room. I am uncomfortable if there’s any possibility of anyone reading over my shoulder. I think that’s habit from having a kid in the house and the subject matter I write.

Not only was I able to write as I haven’t for a very long time, the words flowing, the thoughts clear, I was very entertained by the people around me. I chose a McD’s without a play area, so there wouldn’t be noisy kids. What I got was a place where retirees congregate and have their morning coffee and visit. I had a blast eavesdropping when I would raise my head to think or stretch. I just love the older generation, and they gave me an idea of adding an extra character into the book I’m working on.

So, a total of 5 hours in the last three days at McD’s, and I wrote almost 10,000 words. It feels good to be back to work. I feel greatly accomplished! And because I get all my writing done by noon, I can come home and get the mother/wife duties done without thinking I should be doing something else.

On another subject, I did have a very relaxing spring break, where I didn’t even think about working. The first week I was in Washington on the coast with my daughter. Because the weather was so wretched, our planned hiking and beachcombing was axed and I spent the time in the hotel playing cards with my daughter and reading while she played on her iPod. But the best was 3 days in Victoria, BC in a beautiful old hotel on the inner harbor overlooking the boats and an awesome view of The Empress Hotel. The trip to Victoria was for my hubby and daughter to spend some quality time together, which they did, while I lazed around and watched the weather change every ten minutes outside the window and read. I managed to get through 4 novels in the two weeks, and that was the biggest treat of all!

My picture today was taken from the balcony outside our room at sunrise overlooking the harbor and Empress.

I’m off to do my wifely duties now and clean the kitchen…and I’m not even really complaining about it today!

Anna Leigh

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3 responses to “Finding a place to work that works

  1. Excellent, Anna Leigh! I’m glad you found someplace that works for you. 🙂

  2. 10,000 words in five hours. I’m envious. I type with one finger—not one finger on each hand—one finger. Three novels down and one in the works. One finger.

    I’m so glad you found a place to work. I can edit almost any time, but writing requires a special frame of mind.

  3. I sometimes have to be alone, there can be people around but not with me–taking a walk, walking on the beach, sitting on a park bench. See, I like to talk to myself about the story, the dialogue particularly. Yes I get a lot of weird looks–a lot fewer since the advent of the no-hands telephones. I don’t like my train of thought to be interupted but then I sometimes work with Wash, and we talk constantly, but about the story or characters or what and how they might say something. But I guess that’s different, because we’re on the same track. I think the most important thing is, “If it works for you, then do it!”

    Good post
    Wally

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