Friday, May 21, 2010

Change in scenery

So, last night I tried an experiment. My husband graciously gave me the night off from family time and mommy duties, and me and my Laptop pulled a J.K. Rowling -- we headed over to the nearest Starbucks, where I, with my coffee and sandwich, parked myself for a couple of hours of writing.

Guess what? Away from the clutter of kids toys and the distractions of internet and home, I was able to get focused and I actually got some writing accomplished. I still went round in circles, and it took me the first full hour to push past the resistance (why am I bothering, this sucks, etc) and get in the zone, but overall, I was relaxed, focused, and interested again. I was able to experiment with the opening of my MG story, switching voice and tense and POV, no one interrupted me when I needed to stare off into space and visualize what happened next, and I enjoyed myself.

Lesson learned? I can get back to that happy writing place that I haven't felt for 20 years. The writing inside me isn't dead, it's just all jumbled up by art projects, Mommy duties, and life.

I don't know if this makes me a wimp or not, but I guess I do need serious alone time to get work done. I'm going to try to get at least one night a week at the coffee house. I think the 'me' time is good for more than just the writing. And I'm going to see how I can get more of it daily. Do I go to bed at 9 pm so I can wake up at 4 or 5? If I managed it (it's against my night owl proclivities), I'd never see my husband. Do I continue as I am, but try to get a nap in so I stay up until 3 and only get 4 hours of sleep and then be a grumpy bear to my husband and son? Or should I just stop pressuring myself, write when I can, and if it takes five years until I can get my manuscript(s) finished, learn to be okay with that?

Maybe a combination of all of the above. But I'm not going to sweat it anymore. If I can't be truly productive until my son heads off to school in a year or to, so be it.

Read about the Elephant Coffee House, where Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book.



  1. See, that is why I have such hgh respect for writer/mommies. I have enough trouble getting the door closed and most of the time there are just two of us here. My problem is that my mind has trouble filtering out the extranseous noises of everyday living but it's my fault because I have headphones I can use and I just don't do it so I battle on.

  2. Oh, Karyn, Karyn, Karyn. I so-o-o feel for you. Since I struggle with the same issues, I have no advice. I think I'll just commiserate with you!! (And maybe try the coffee shop thing some time.)

  3. Very interesting 'experiment'. I tend to stay up late and catch a nap during the day (not always restfully), but BOY does that 'Evening at the Coffee House' sound divine! I may try that myself, see what comes of it. I need to push past my fear of beginning. Sounds like you had a glorious bit of success there...well done!

  4. So glad the cafe worked. Wish I could have been there too.