On writing

Getting the writing habit

Maybe it’s the caffeine, but something helps

I don’t know why it is, but I do my most productive writing on the train on the morning commute, and in coffee shops.

Food courts and McDonald’s restaurants are my offices-away-home.

I have stopped doing my most creative writing at home.

When it comes to editing, however, the opposite applies.  I do that best at my desk, with the full size keyboard and two monitors, where I can easily switch between my notes and the work-in-progress.

In an ideal world, one would be able to write anywhere, any time.  And sometimes I can. When I’m on a writing roll the only thing that stops me are work deadlines.

(Work deadlines are a real writing strangler.  As in—I really don’t want to get off this train because I’ve already done 500 words on my commute, and I know if I could keep writing I would rack up another 500 in the same amount of time, but I have to go to work. So why don’t I sneak into this café for a quick coffee and do some more writing—But the guilt sets in. How do I explain being so late? And I now have to work the extra time at the end of the day.  (Lucky my hours are flexible.)  Oh, coffee is finished and I’ve only done 50 more words.  Sigh.  I should have gone straight to work.)

Part of the reason I can write so well on the commute and in cafes is because I’ve trained myself to do it. Years of pulling out the laptop as soon as I sit down on the train, or immediately after I’ve ordered coffee. My brain knows these are the signals to start writing.

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