The Imperfect Writing Location
I've been a bit serious in past blogs and of course there are my veiled digs at what's really going on in the world. So, this time, I thought I might back off a little and do some musings on the perfect or imperfect place to write.
If anyone actual reads this blog, then please feel free to pass on an anecdote or two about your own amusing writing location. Or if you do have the penultimate writing location - please share and show us what a wonderful place it is. After all, the dream comes first and then the first steps.
So, where is the perfect or imperfect location to write a book? I included imperfect for a reason and you might find that a location seemingly unsuited to deep thought might turn out to be the best.
Personally, I have always done my best writing in a cafe of some sort. First of all, you have to encourage yourself to even get out of the house or apartment or car (if you're living in it). At the very least, you've accomplished something for the day. And conversely, you can consider your cafe field trip a type of reward. Not only do you get out of your abode but you get to walk amongst the common folk, breathe in the air, smell the flowers and end up in a place that has vast reserves of tea and coffee and sugary treats to treat yourself even more.
I really treat this excursion as a treat. CM, you've been in the house all morning loyally performing your social media duties and now you've earned a trip to the cafe to sip the nectar of the Gods and do some writing. But wait there's more. Not only do you get your caffeine and writing fix, you also get to people watch and eves drop - vital research for characters and dialogue for your next project. A wonderful win, win situation!
For me, it's the atmosphere. If the cafe is busy then I can laser focus on the task at hand until all the hubbub in the background just becomes white noise. If the cafe is quiet, then I tend to be a bit more 'out there' creatively as my mind decides that now is the time for wandering and daydreaming.
That's what I mean by the imperfect place. At first glance and listen, it's way too busy and distracting but depending on how you work - it's also the perfect spot.
It also helps if the cafe owners are receptive to the idea of someone sitting in their cafe for hours and just ordering tea and coffee every now and then. I've found this to be the case almost 100% of the time and no one has ever physically removed me yelling and screaming from a cafe.
The other thing I like is the unpredictability of a cafe. You never know just what might happen.
Case in point number one:
On one sunny afternoon, I was in my favourite tea shop and happily writing away. I noticed a young woman, checking her phone frequently and getting both annoyed and despondent. I surmised that she had been stood up and her exciting date had turned out to be a soggy teabag. So, believing that I, in fact, was much more interesting than said teabag, I invited her over to my table where we spent a wonderful afternoon chatting. We met again a few more times and that was the extent of our relating but it just goes to show you that a situation is both bad and good depending on your viewpoint.
Case in point number two:
This one still brings a smile to my face, even after a few years. This time I was in a fairly busy non-sock wearing hipster coffee shop and people were in a que to order. A woman came in carrying the biggest clock I have ever seen. It was massive and it was packaged in a way that you could still see most of the face. I thought to myself, should I or shouldn't I go up to her and ask her for the time? But before I could put my little joke into action, the dirty hipster at the next table beat me to the punch. He pretended to get behind her in the que and asked if she had the time. She showed him her watch-less wrist and said no, sorry. He just smiled and thanked her and came back to his table. I congratulated his efforts and seethed inside that a hipster had bettered me but I still thought it was hilarious!!!
Case in point number three:
This one occurred just a few days ago in small town Ontario. If you don't know Canada that well or are unfamiliar with it's internal politics - Ontario is without question the most Draconian of all the provinces and there really hasn't been a let up from the lockdowns. Recently, they did allow restaurants to re-open but with limited numbers. So, I have had a Starbucks card in my wallet since the plandemic started and thought now would be a good time to go out to a cafe and write even if it was a corporate slim-hole like Starbucks. In this small redneck town, there aren't many options.
Off I went, excited to actually go out in public and write and drink tea. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Still having to wear a mask to get in, I was encouraged that there were already two writers inside and mask-lessly working on their projects. Another bonus was that the place was huge inside and if they insisted on social distancing - I would be golden. I ordered tea and asked "could I sit inside and write". "Sure" the young enthusiastic barista said, "just as long as you fill out this contact tracing form". "You're joking!" I replied, "surely that went the way of scouring your hands with that vile handgel that has surely killed more people than the so-called virus?" "No", she insisted, "it's store policy". "And if I refuse?" said I, "you and me both know this is bullshit!" "Then you can't sit inside." So I refused out of principle. I looked at the patio which was filled with zero patrons and asked "can I go out there all by myself and write?" "Sure" she beamed "as long as you fill out the contact tracing form."Oh dear!
Have you ever dreamed about the perfect place to do your writing?
I have and do all the time and I hope and intend to manifest it in the near future.
My perfect spot is my small studio that I've built on the roof of my home in South America. The only access is via the roof and I'm the only one with the key. On one wall is a giant window that captures the most drool worthy view of the ocean and my private beach. The house is on the side of a mountain and the beach is accessible by a lovely meandering path through the small trees and flowers. i usually write in this most amazing place in the morning so I can have the afternoon to enjoy said beach or go exploring or paddling. I grinning form ear to ear right now just thinking about it and can't wait to get in there and create.
What about you?