Writing, as we all know, is not something that easily flows from the pen, gracing the page each and every time with perfect, poetic prose. If only that were true! The sad reality is that writing is an art that cannot be rushed. It takes a great deal of thought, intense focus, and, at least for me, numerous rewrites and corrections.
This means that you, the writer, have to truly commit to what you are trying to accomplish. Writing not only requires time, but a quiet, comfortable place where you can concentrate; a place that you can escape to where life will not get in the way. But where in the world does one find such a nirvana?
Over the years I’ve spent time writing in coffee shops, hotels and, more often than not, the office my wife and I created for me in our home. All have worked rather well. But to be honest, each comes with its own distractions.
Coffee shops, while comfortable and usually somewhat quiet, are unfortunately terrific places for people watching. I’m convinced that the diverse assortment of folks who frequent those places is a sitcom waiting to be written. Often they are so comedic that I lose sight of my original purpose for being there.
In regards to hotel rooms, they should be as close to perfect as it can get. On business trips I usually have a great deal of alone time in my hotel and have been able to accomplish a fair amount of writing. However, as it turns out, the problem here is that I personally have the will power of a gnat. In that small, confined area called my room, there is a nice couch, a television and a refrigerator filled with great snacks all vying for my attention. Enough said.
Thanks to my wife, my home office has evolved over the years and now gives me that quiet, comfortable atmosphere in which I need to write. But even here life tends to insert itself. It amazes me how telemarketers seem to have an uncanny ability to call just as I’ve figured out a critical detail, completely derailing my one-track mind. Then there’s the unexpected delivery, which somehow always diverts me through the kitchen (I believe I mentioned my somewhat weak will power). And then there’s that wet nose touching against my leg. Who can ignore a Corgi puppy with the cutest face God ever gave to a dog?
So, is there no hope for finding that perfect place? Throughout my career I have traveled a great deal and have spent far too much time on airplanes. However, it has been while in the air that I’ve been able to accomplish a significant amount of my writing. There is something magical in that moment when the plane achieves wheels up and you know the world cannot not reach you. It is then that your time is truly your own. With noise-canceling headphones eliminating any commotion around you, the creative juices have the freedom to flow. So don’t give up. Your nirvana is out there, it’s just a question of finding it.