A few weeks ago, Ramona DeFelice Long, fearless leader of the How Many Pages Did You Write Today? Facebook group asked us when we write best. In an ideal world, I’d awaken when I’m well-rested (wouldn’t that be fabulous?), and with coffee in hand, write through the morning when my brain’s fresh and my inner critic is still asleep.
Alas, my life isn’t ideal for writing at the moment. Too much day-job. I’m working on this–believe you me I am!–but for now I have to employ tricks to make time for fiction. One of my favorite tricks is the coffeehouse. Thinking about Ramona’s question, I realized that I have a special time called “coffeehouse time.” Actual clock time doesn’t matter. Settling myself at a coffeehouse automatically transitions my brain into writing mode.
It’s equivalent to falling asleep as soon as I settle into an airplane seat. After oodles of travel, I’ve trained my brain to knock off.
Same thing with coffeehouses, except I’ve trained my brain to fiction on. It’s basically the art of showing up. These days I’m doing my best to show up for my work-in-progress called GREY MAN. I feel sorry for it because between the day-job, my aged mom, life in general, and debut novel tasks, I’ve been neglecting it.
Here’s an example of coffeehouse time in action: It’s the end of the day, and all I want to do is chillax in front of the telly, maybe watch an episode of “Dexter.” After that, the novel I’m currently reading beckons. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed at eight to read for two hours, is there? Naaah…And that’s how it goes. Maybe I’m fundamentally unfocussed or distractible or lazy or undisciplined, but at times like that there’s no way I’m going to write if I stay at home. Once I force myself out the door, into the car and then into a coffeehouse, fancy that, I’m fine. I may need to stare out the window for a bit, but that’s OK. I’ve shown up.
That’s coffeehouse time. It works for me. And we do whatever works to get our writing in, don’t we?
Any time’s a good time to write when I’m in a coffeehouse. No ideal world necessary!