Take a look at my picture. The one in the blog sidebar. Yup, Dana Fredsti, that's me. The gal with kittens sprawled on her lap and work, a resigned look on her face.
Writing at my house is never without distractions. I don't have kids, but I do have 10 cats of varying ages and temperaments. I'm also heavily involved in feline rescue and lately there have been emails flying back and forth trying to decide the fate of various cats, who will foster which ones, nursing sick kittens and...well...it's time-consuming and emotionally draining.
Then there's the television. "Surely it won't hurt to have Giant Snake/Crocodile/Shark Movie Festival on Sci-Fi Channel on in the background while I write! White noise!" Except the white noise takes on all sorts of color when bad actors are running away from wretched CGI effects. I'm a sucker for bad movies.
Even more distracting than cats or bad movies, however, is the lure of the Internet, both justifiable (networking enough to keep my face/name/book out there) and frivolous (pick your 'net surfing poison, it's out there). And when the writing is going slowly, it seems like SUCH a good idea to check email. Just one more time... Soon the whole bag of cyber potato chips is gone and several hours frittered away.
Even still, I have never been tempted by the idea of going to a coffee house to write. I've always been perplexed by all those laptop carrying folks I see setting up camp at Starbucks and other less ubiquitous coffee houses. I mean, how the heck could one concentrate out in public? So when my writing partner and pal Cynthia Gentry (we have a non-fiction project due beginning of February) suggested meeting at a Starbucks in Belmont, I was skeptical I would accomplish anything useful. However, knowing Cynthia wrote the majority of her last project at Starbucks (she has a toddler, which makes the need to escape the house understandable), I agreed to give it a go.
Well, dang me if I didn't have an incredibly productive two hour writing session! I had no internet connection, so I couldn't distract myself with email/Facebook/Twitter/email. Sci Fi Channel wasn't an option. I didn't have felines crawling over and around me demanding attention and food. And I had my cell phone turned off. It was amazing, like being cocooned in a plastic bubble (with air holes) surrounding our table.
Mind you, I still prefer writing within the walls of my cozy house by the beach. And when I have a good writing day here, it's generally a great day. But I will no longer poo-poo the idea of retreating my local java establishment with my iMac if I feel the need to remove all distractions.