Writing Habits: Where Do You Work Best?

Monday, I met with a teen book club. This was an online meeting in part because they live all over the country.  Parents and teens sat in on the meeting and asked a wide variety of questions.  Although the focus was Black Lives Matter, several of these young readers also want to write.  One of them asked me where I work best because, you know, some people like to write in cafes.  It wasn’t until after I answered the question and saw his mother’s reaction that I realized it was a bit of a set up.

Yes, I know people who love to write in coffee shops and cafes.  Hip hip hooray for them.  I am not one of these people.

No. No. No. I have to be in my office, alone if possible.

In a cafe, someone will walk past and I have to look up.  Hmm.  Interesting sweater.  That’s a nice looking dessert.  I wonder what it’s called?  Do they have any more?  It really doesn’t take a whole lot to distract me.

Then his mother started laughing.  Oh, I see.  The teens had been making a play that tv and music and people aren’t a distraction when they do their homework.  Sorry.  I didn’t help your case.

But that’s my reality.  I’m easy to distract.

That said, when I focus I pull off amazing things.  I wrote about 13,000 words in one week.  I did not do it in a cafe or coffee shop.  I can pop through a page every 20 minutes or so if I have the information I need.  It takes longer if I have to look something up and then I’m also risking distraction.  But I write hard and fast and then . . .

Shh.  Exhausted writer at rest.

I know this isn’t how everyone works but I know what works best for me.  You?  Maybe you do best in cafe or an airport.