In the entrepreneurial spirit of hanging a shingle, I have decided it’s time for me to establish a professional work space, one that doesn’t have mounds of laundry piled on it. Almost every book on writing I’ve ever read stresses the importance of having a designated, organized work space in which to conduct your business. This sounds like good advice.
And since I decided this year I’m going to actually follow good advice instead of just agree with it, I’ve started excavating my desk in my bedroom.
I was hoping to post before and after photos by now, but the work goes slowly with a little one underfoot. Plus, I decided it was high time to organize all of my writing stuff (we’re talking drafts of stories that go back to the 8th grade, folks). As you can imagine, I’ve gotten in the middle of it kind of wishing I never opened up those boxes. You can’t even tell we have a dining table anymore.
So in the meantime, I thought I’d offer a peek of my orderly office outside the home. Look familiar?
I know a lot of people think writing in a coffee shop is a little pretentious, but who cares? They’ve got loads of caffeine and eats, they offer great tables next to outlets, and they don’t care if you stay for three hours straight. So you probably spend $5, almost $10 if you get a sandwich. You’re still talking cheap desk rent at the rate of $1.60 to $3.50 an hour. Plus, you get coffee and grub.
I affectionately refer to this place as my Starbucks. The people there are absolutely wonderful. When I walk in, it’s, “Hey, Angela, how’s that little girl of yours? Venti chai, right? No water, whip, I know.” You can’t beat that kind of beginning to a serious work session.
And for those who might be suspicious that I’m there surfing the net and spending unnecessary money while goofing off — he knows who he is — I’m finding my most productive time to be at Starbucks.
Fat Cat watches the baby for two hours every morning, and those two hours are precious to me…especially considering I can only write at home when she’s asleep. As she grows older, the naps are becoming shorter, and most nights, I end up going to bed with her. So Starbucks hours are gold.
So I get in there, grab a table — I’m not particular — pay for my chai, and set up my laptop. I’ve got my notes and materials for whatever current project or task I’m working on. I’ve got noise-canceling headphones — I swear by them, unless you enjoy listening to people’s cell phone conversations — playing whatever I’m currently in love with on the media player. (Brit/piano/alternative rock seems to be where I’m spending all my time these days.)
This is my zone. This is where I can churn out 2,000+ words without breaking a sweat. This is the place where I can concentrate completely on the work. And this is the only place I can listen to music that loud and not bother anyone or worry that I can’t hear the baby.
My friend has a library she says she dreamed about for 10 years. That sounds like heaven to me. But in the meantime, I don’t mind paying rent at Starbucks.
How about you all out there in cyber world? Where’s your in-the-zone all-time favorite place to write?