(photo credit: Rebecca Nicole Montana under CC license)
This past week was a super-special week in my life. Magical, even.
My kids all went to school full time for their "trial week -" you know, the one where we send them to school and I wait at home to see which one will be the first to panic/attack another child/vomit on someone and be sent home early.
Since I don't start back at work till September 1, it was just me, all by my lonesome, all day long, all five days. It. Was. Heaven.
I thought I'd use the free days to do some experimenting on what is the best work environment/conditions for me, so I went to a different place each day. Indie coffee shop, commercial coffee shop, book store, home. Some days I "dressed," and some days I stayed the schlub that is my natural state (sweatpants, sneaks, frizzed hair, etc.)
Here's what I learned:
Yoga pants and comfy tees win over real clothes. You will think it's a good idea to get dressed so you feel all professional and author-ish, but really it's just 20 minutes you spent getting ready (at least!) where you could have been writing that kissing scene. And now you lost all your ideas. Way to go, loser writer who thought it was important to look good when you are neither in NYC nor do you have a book deal.
You might think you like that hipster-infested coffee shop, what with its natural light, organic bananas, and good vibes, but by the end of your five-hour stay, you'll want to throw something at that barefoot dude who's been meditating in that cushy chair in front of the fireplace the whole time you've been working your butt off.
If you're going to sit on your butt writing all day, your only hope of staying awake and alert is to exercise a little and eat decent food. You can read while you're on the elliptical. Just do it. Also, Doritos and cinnamon soft pretzels are not - ARE NOT - brain food. Not that I would know that firsthand or anything.
For reasons we've already discussed, checking Twitter constantly is neither productive nor healthy. No, not for any reason. Same with email.
In that vein, "Free Wi-Fi" sounds really good, but it's not. It's not, it's not, it's NOT.
Writing in the presence of books is still inspirational, no matter what.
Have you ever had a chance to taste the Writing Life? What have you learned?