October 25, 2021
Sitting at my desk in my apartment, I felt panicky and lost. How could I possibly write at home?
Which led me to make a list of the reasons I write at coffeeshops and bookstore.
1. COFFEE! I discovered this beverage during my first year of teaching (before that I was a big tea drinker but coffee was more easily accessible at school than boiling water and making tea), and not a day has gone by without my consumption of more than the recommended number of cups. A coffee shop provides me with choices of caffeine-laden drinks I can’t make in my own kitchen with my simple coffeemaker. Every visit, I peruse the selection. The cost of an almond milk peppermint mocha latte with a shot of expresso? Unbelievable. I can’t afford that when every extra cent I have goes to writing classes, buying books, and attending conferences. So, mostly, it’s plain black coffee with one shot of mocha. That’s my $0.59 splurge!
2. THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE COUNTER. In the solitary world of writing, having contact with another human being is a great way to start a session. So I enjoy those brief moments when we connect.
3. THE ATMOSPHERE. People-watching and listening to snippets of conversation often can provide the catalyst for a new scene, or the needed addition to a scene, either one I’m working on at that moment, or it can be jotted down and used in the future. Now, sometimes, sitting in public and being present in your story in your own head can be a problem. I’ve caught myself many times trying to describe in words the movements of my character, or what their facial expression is, only to realize I’m acting it out in real life. In a public setting. People sitting nearby have no clue that I”m flinging my hands in the air and scrunching up my mouth because my character is doing that on the page and I’m trying to figure out how to write that in words
4. DISTRACTION OF A DIFFERENT SORT. At home, I easily find myself distracted. The bird feeders outside my window need filled, the laundry needs done, that plant I’ve neglected on top of my bookshelf for weeks needs watered. And on it goes. But, at a bookstore, the distraction is BOOKS! I can do research, I can catch up on the latest trends in publication, I can take a few minutes and read something totally off topic. These distractions are all in the realm of reading and writing, which can be helpful.
Don’t get me wrong-I accomplished a tremendous amount during the pandemic. I worked hard and got my first book revised for one final time, submitted to publishers and published! I learned I am capable of working in my office at home.
But, I sure am thankful to be able to get back to “my office” at the bookstore and coffee shop!
Do you write at coffee shops and bookstores? What are your reasons?
Have a great day and happy writing!
October 11, 2021
Welcome to my page about writing.
This is my first post. I thought it might be interesting to share with each other what our lives are like as writers. I’m always looking for new ideas about anything related to writing that might help me improve my craft. Or, on some days, find the motivation to keep at it!
I’m sitting in a waiting room, at a table I’ve been taking over 3 times a week for the past few months. This has become a great spot for me to work with a wonderful view of trees and a pond, large floor to ceiling windows on two sides, and a quiet atmosphere. I’m going to miss coming here when it is no longer necessary. I’ve been getting quite a bit accomplished, even with wearing a mask and having my eyeglasses fog up from it! As long as I have my snacks, my notebook, and the latest book I’m reading (in case writing becomes a challenge and I need to distract from it) I’m good to go.
Today’s topic: How do you organize your writing week starting on a Monday?
I’ve tried many ways! They include:
Cleaning off my desk on Fridays and putting only a list of what to do the next week on it.
Making a Master List on a yellow legal pad that includes everything I need to do by category, writing down a start date and an anticipated end date, and then, of course, the actual date when it got completed. Taking that list on Friday, and rewriting it for the next week.
Using a wall calendar and putting the week’s goals on it by day.
Using a notebook
Printing off copies of the many organizing worksheets available on the Internet and trying each of them repeatedly
Winging it—simply sitting down and doing whatever comes to mind for the day
Setting quarterly goals, then breaking them down into monthly, then weekly, then daily goals
Using a website, 750words.com, every morning to get my thoughts down as to what I would like to accomplish that day.
Of all of them, I think the last one has worked the best for me. I open up the site on Monday, freewrite about anything that comes to mind for a few minutes, and then switch to compiling a list of everything I want to try (key word here-try) to accomplish that week, and then I start working on one of them.
I try to get on the site every day, in the morning. From Tuesday through Friday, I copy the list from Monday’s entry into that day’s page, and get rid of anything that I’ve completed. On Friday, I write a list of the things I’ve completed. Sometimes it’s a small list, but for me, completing anything on the list sometimes feels like an accomplishment.
Do I get use this method every week? I try, but to be honest, some weeks it doesn’t work out. But when it does, it keeps me on track. And I get a lot more done!
Do you need to use 750words.com to do this? Of course not. But I find it helpful to have a place where I try to get at least 750words done every day. I use it to list topics I want to research, links I want to remember, brainstorming ideas about plot, and anything else that comes to mind.
How do you organize your week starting on Monday?
Share a tip with us.
We can all use some tips and pointer. Perhaps your method will prove to be just what one of us needs!