Friday, November 16, 2012

I love writing at Starbucks. The drinks are a wonderful bonus, of course, but it's not just about the chai. It's about the focus.

At home, there are a million things clamoring for my attention. Okay, maybe not a million, but I can certainly find plenty of things to do when the writing isn't flowing. Even when I'm determined to focus on my writing, clutter and household chores send little jabs of guilt my way, distracting me from the task at hand, interfering with the writing and kicking the distractibility cycle into gear.

Going to Starbucks is like going to the office. There are rules. They're self-imposed, but when I physically leave the house in order to write, I feel obligated to follow them and just write. No Facebook or Words With Friends until the job is done. These things are "breaks," allowed only when I've reached a certain productivity point. Ditto emails, and as for phone calls, the hubbub around me rules out all but the most necessary: work-related and calls from home.

It's odd, actually, that someone who needs quiet to write at home can function in the constant undercurrent of noise that is the atmosphere at Starbucks, but since none of the noise is directed at me personally, I have learned to tune it out. And, if the lyrics to the music from the sound system begin to integrate themselves into my brain waves, I can always pull out my earbuds and change the tune, or simply block it out.

But mostly, the writing comes when I'm at Starbucks simply out of habit. I've been doing this long enough that I have almost a Pavlovian reaction. Order drink, sit down, open laptop and write. Repeat as necessary.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an ebook to write.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I so agree with you. I get so much more done if I leave the house and write at a cafe. I used to go to Borders, now I don't go as much to BAM.

Lisa Lawmaster Hess said...

I highly recommend Starbucks, but also see a lot of people with laptops at Panera.