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.