Do you ever sit down at your desk and open your project of the moment, and think “I can’t do this here”? Like there’s just some massive weight pressing down on you, refusing to let your imagination take you where you need to go? Like being at home is ruining your creative flow?
Leave. No, seriously. Just leave.
I know, I know “I have kids, Kit, I can’t just leave.” I’m not a parent, so I sometimes have a hard time relating to this point. Honestly, though, if you have kids and you can’t get away, try a different room in your house. Usually write in the office? Try sitting in the living room. Have a yard? Take a notebook or your laptop outdoors and let the kids do what kids do. Middle of the day? Go to a playground, let the kids romp about while you sit at a nearby picnic table. (I’d advise using a notebook and pen at a playground. Much less likely to get destroyed, and if there’s wifi available–well, I know I can get distracted easily if I have an internet connection–from your kids, not your writing. Seriously. Kids are born troublemakers. Gotta keep an eye out. =P)
Don’t have kids? Free to roam? Use your writing time to discover a diner or coffee shop you’ve never been to before! (And then, obviously, write there.) The best part of changing up your routine? Options.
There are chains like Panera Bread, McDonalds, Crispers, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble that have free wifi, ample seating and outlets, and a staff that, as long as they’re open and you have a drink cup (full or empty) in front of you, don’t care how long you stay.
Then there are the hidden gems. The mom & pops, the cute little corner shops without a ton of seating, but a bitchin’ menu with those few items that the regulars rave about. They don’t usually have wifi (though, if you’re in a pinch, you can sometimes siphon off of a chain nearby), their outlets are either limited or nonexistent, and they usually only have one bathroom stall. But these are the places that are writing gold. The upsides? No wifi = No “I’ll only check Facebook once” every five minutes. No outlets = allowing yourself to doodle and scribble on an actual notebook for once. (There’s an old world romance to it, damn it!) The best part? If you go there often enough, the staff and owners are the people who will encourage you in what you’re doing while you spend your time there. They’re usually a personable staff who connect with their regulars, and we all know how far a smile and a little encouragement goes!
I don’t want you all to think that a writer writes at his desk and toils long into the night. You don’t have to be a shut-in to get some writing done. There’s a place where every writer can feel at home away from home; you just have to find it.
What is your writing-home away from home? Are you comfortable writing outside of your personal writing station? What do you prefer: wifi or no wifi?