I’m writing this from a local coffee shop, where I am currently sucking down a hot chocolate. With whipped cream. What can I say, sometimes you just need the cream.
I don’t usually try to work in coffee shops, or actually anywhere other than my office at home, where I can be freely neurotic without fear of being overheard or judged. (Except by my husband, of course, but he’s used to it.) Also, I tend to be much less disciplined out in public about actually Getting To Work. Right now, for example, there is the internet (which I have at home, too, but it’s somehow more fun and shiny someplace else) as well as the muffin selection, which is directly across from me. Blueberry, Morning Glory, Lemon Poppyseed. Yum. See? I could have written at least one decent sentence (or two crappy ones) during that time. No muffins at home.
Plus, there are the people, the best distraction of all. Conversation behind me, from the line beside me…it’s almost social, something that I must admit has been kind of missing from my workday since I quit teaching. Writing full time, I think, is every writer’s dream, and I do love it, don’t get me wrong. But you don’t realize how solitary it can be. Some days, when I’m really under the gun on a deadline, I can go all day not talking to ANYONE (other than my dogs, which I’m not sure counts. Maybe it does?) spending an hours upon hours only with my characters. If I’m doing my job right, they’re good company, but still, you do get a little worried about going all Jack Nicholson in the Shining (the scariest movie EVER, in my opinion) when you’re spending that much time in your own head.
So, here I am, with my whipped cream, shaking things up. At least for the time being. This is fine, for now, but this afternoon I’ll be back at home, in my quiet office, the only big doings the deer walking across the yard. The only sound the whirring of my own anxious brain (which I can’t hear now, it’s being drowned out by the expresso machine). I guess it’s a balance, in the end. A little in, a little out. What really matters, in the end, is that the work gets done. So I should probably, um, get to it. Maybe I’ll have a muffin first.