Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Why is that crazy girl crying?" and other reasons I can't write in public.

Most of my friends--and probably many of you--write in public. Maybe you need to escape your kids and find some quiet time. Maybe you need to break away from distractions like wifi and television and undone household chores. Maybe you just like a steady supply of overpriced caffeinated beverages. Whatever the reason, I seem to be in the minority in that I HAVE to write at home, for several embarrassing reasons (which I probably shouldn't share but what they heck, I'm going to anyway):

I'm vain. I mean, I'm not one of those girls who takes 5 hours to get ready and reapplies lipgloss every 2.5 seconds. But I'm also not going to leave the house wearing faded stretchpants and my husband's giant Batman shirt. And sadly, that's my writing uniform. (I'm totally killing the glamorous-writer-fantasy, aren't I?) I am allllllllllll about comfort when I'm spending hours pushing my creative muscles as far as they can go.

I'd prefer not to be committed. I'm what I like to think of as a "method writer." I feel what my characters are feeling as I channel it on the page. Happy scene? Yeah--I'm giggling like a schoolgirl the entire time. Sad scene? I am bawling. BAWLING. And if I get stuck? Well... sometimes I talk to my characters to figure out why they're being so uncooperative. All of which is fine when I'm sequestered in my bedroom with the blinds pulled shut so the neighbors can't see. But in public? I'm pretty sure it would only be a matter of time before they came to take me away.

I'm easily distracted. I know a lot of people find it more distracting to be at home, but for me--and maybe it's because I don't have kids (or because I'm EXCELLENT at ignoring household chores)--I find it almost impossible to not be constantly sidetracked by every person moving/tiny sound/door opening/ooo-shiny-things-that-give-me-excuses-not-to-write! (ahem) So the few times I've had to write in public (whilst traveling or whatnot) my productivity level is embarrassing.

So yeah, I have to write at home. Which is hard because my house doesn't really have a perfect "writing spot" for me--but I make it work for now.

But really, I can't be the only one, can I? Aren't there ANY other homebody writers out there? Or is it really just me?

28 comments:

  1. I totally just write at home too. Especially since I squeeze it in in the early am or on the weekend between whatever else I'm doing, I don't have the time or desire to go somewhere else to write.

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  2. You aren't alone. I write at home, too. I've tried taking a notebook to the park - just for a change of scenery, but it never works. If I write anything, it's about what I see at the park. :shrug:

    And yeah, the whole talking to myself thing is probably best left to inside the house - or at least on my own property (where, if I'm caught outside, I can claim to be talking to the cat).

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  3. I can't write in public either. Taking a laptop down to Costa would feel very pretentious to me...

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  4. I really only get great writing done (both quality and quantity) when I'm writing at work, in my cubicle. I know that sounds crazy, and it probably is, but it's for many of the same reasons you've named.

    Also: you're nuts, bless your heart.

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  5. I'm in the club also. We don't have kids yet either, so my wife allowed me to turn one of our rooms into a full-on library/writing cave. I feel like a kid in a bookstore sometimes when I sit down to write. I posted about a week ago with some pictures:
    http://gsstillwell.blogspot.com/2011/08/where-we-write-scotts-writing-cave.html

    You should post a vlog of you talking to yourself while you write. No one would laugh or try to have you committed, I'm sure ;p

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  6. I do both, but I mostly do writing at home. Editing I can do basically anywhere, and am more productive with not at home, but initial writing? Yeah, that's at home.

    Mostly.

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  7. Wow! Um...I wonder if it's the same Batman shirt I skull around my house in. ;)

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  8. I do tend to scribble things down while commuting - but my train journey is an hour and a half one way and I tend to choose the quiet coach. But my friend and I tried to write in a cafe/bar one time and ended up getting quite sozzled and silly rather than creative! LOL!

    Take care
    x

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  9. I HAVE to write at home and it used to be in a closed room by myself. But I have managed to migrate to the kitchen table where I can supervise the animals (children+husband) and write at the same time.

    Sometimes my characters randomly scream 'stop slapping your brother with that piece of cheese'.

    But I edit that stuff out later.

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  10. I can't write in public, either, mostly because the kids and hubby don't go for my absence for hours at a time. I have to write in stolen moments! :-)

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  11. I always have the best intentions of writing in a coffee shop, but they never pan out. There's always more coffee to buy, or a snack to eat. And oh, maybe I should check my email and text my friend to see if she wants to join me....

    I need to write at home. Upstairs, away from the TV/couch. And with big headphones on so I don't hear cars going down the alley or my neighbors mowing their lawns. Just me and my story. And my sweatpants.

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  12. Yep - I have to write at home. I get too distracted elsewhere. Although I also have a talent for being distracted at home. It's a gift.

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  13. Writing in public doesn't bother me, but I catch myself doing strange things like making faces at my laptop or singing along with a song. It's kind of awkward, but some days I just need to get out of my room which is where I write and live all the time.

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  14. I'm pretty much your opposite. I like to head out to cafes to write because, well: I'll take your vain and raise you an "I'm the sloppiest person ever." Heading out to the cafe in stained sweatpants, an ill-fitting shirt, and messy, unwashed hair? NO PROBLEM!

    Also, I have some writing buddies who meet me in said cafes several times a week. So if I know they're going to be there Tuesday at 7pm, I'm going to feel like a lazy waste of space if I'm not there writing with them.

    Finally, while I seem quite successful at ignoring household chores, the clutter bothers me and affects my writing. Not enough to actually get up and start cleaning (good lord), just that when my desk is overflowing with crap as usual, it's impossible for me to write.

    My cats would like me better if I wrote at home, though.

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  15. I make a lot of embarrassing gestures trying to get my body and mind to work together to come up with the proper descriptions. And faces. And I say things aloud to hear how they sound. While wearing a caftan.

    Yeah, I can't write in public, either.

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  16. Although I love the home attire to write, I write the most at work. It's a small quiet library, so I don't often have library work to do.

    I'm all with you about distraction, though. I have too much of it at home unless I close myself in my room and hope the cats go away. *laughs*

    As for crying in public, I don't write those sad scenes at work...or read sad books in public. It's just not good, not good at all. :)

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  17. I prefer to stay home too...for the same reasons. I get distracted VERY easily. Every time a new customer walked in, I had to see what was going on. Or I'd find myself eavesdropping on conversations...not purposely to be nosey..but in a quiet place...well...it's sometimes hard to ignore! I prefer to stay in fleece pants and cuddle up in my electric blanket on the couch than get dressed, makeuped, and sit in an uncomfortable chair. And the beverages and food...yeah...mine at home are way cheaper and way less fatty.

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  18. I can't write in public either, mostly because I like to people watch too much, so I can totally relate to that.

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  19. My best writing time is early AM like four or earlier and the cafe's aren't open yet. And to be honest I haven't tried writing there. Used to be I'd have to email and use the internet at the library before we had a fast internet connection. Then I got more work done. Now it's a distraction to be tempted with going on.
    Those are my reasons to be in the stay-at-home-club. :)

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  20. I do almost all of my writing at home now that I don't work outside the house.

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  21. I have to write at home most of the time. I can zone the world out if I'm in public, but home is more comfortable and saves me money. :) My old favorite place to write was in class, but then I got to college and I kind of have to pay attention. Yeah... :)

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  22. I prefer writing at home, but sometimes I need to get out and do it somewhere else. It just can't be too public and I sort of need to tuck myself into a corner. I don't like it if I feel like someone can see what I'm typing.

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  23. Me, too! Although not for the same reasons. I need quiet to focus and "get in the zone." I'm not a "stolen moment" writer. I need a chunk of one to two hours minimum, so I write when everyone else is in bed.

    Also, when I'm out, I'm constantly checking my watch to see if it's time to get to the next thing - go pick up the kids from school, get home to make dinner, etc. I can't focus.

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  24. Haha, I never write in public. Maybe scribble notes down, but not actually WRITE. I don't think I cry, but I'm sure I'm making all sorts of really bizarre faces. ;o)

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  25. Matthew writes in his cubicle in sweatpants and a batman t-shirt while talking to himself and crying? How do I get that job?

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  26. I have to write at home too! Feeling cozy in a place I love transports my writing to a place that FEELS like me too.

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  27. I think this makes perfect sense!

    I've only written a tiny bit and all while at home.

    I have decided that I'd probably write better scenry if I was in a location I was trying to write about, such as a wooded forest or even a city. I'd probably have to take field trips just so I could write about the scenery perfectly.


    Do you do that? Take trips?

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