Monday, March 5, 2012

Where are you (re)writing?

I tried something completely new over the weekend- I took my computer down to my local library and set up shop. It didn't work out quite the way I had hoped.  My motive for the change of scenery was that while my writing space (my husband let me turn our office into a library/ writing lounge and it's awesome) works for writing, it hasn't been working for revisions.  I don't know why, but I'm not getting the same inspiration as when I create.  So, enter the scene with me at the library.  I had three free hours before I was heading to see The Lorax with my husband (more on that later), and thought even with travel and unpacking time, I would have a solid 2.5 hours of working on my novel (the excruciating change to first person on AN UNEXPECTED KINGDOM).

Here's a little sample of how that went:
10:30:  Arrive at Stoneham Public Library
10:33:  Get caught in weird conversation with circulation desk worker about automatic doors that I can't seem to end
10:40:  Finally get to the upstairs carrels and pick one
10:41-10:50: Set up my stuff and get situated- coat off, scarf off, computer and note cards unpacked, phone silenced, note cards arranged on desk, computer plugged in and turned on
10:5:1  Realize outlet has no power and that battery only has half hour of juice left
10:52-11:00:  Repeat procedure at new carrel
11:01:  Open document
11:02:  Woman asks me where the new YA books are- get into a discussion about why the library needs a separate section for new YA books
11:15:  Get back to document
12:00:  Realize I spent 45 minutes on the prologue, which really didn't need work, and I changed about three words and one comma
Aaaand the experience went downhill from there.  I am still adrift on my revisions and would love to know where other people write and if that same space works for revisions or editing.

Oh, and PS- see The Lorax; it's amazing!  My husband was embarrassed because I cried.  I'm not made out of stone!


  1. I've never been very productive working in public.

    And I've also had my share of weird conversations in libraries. :)

    1. I know, right? Do libraries make people act strangely or do strange people hang out in libraries? Sort of a chicken/egg issue.

  2. I used to be a strictly couch-with-some-quiet-time sort of person, but lately, not so much. I work everywhere. If I'm going to a lecture and I have my computer and ten extra minutes cause I got there early-out comes the laptop. Ten minutes early to pick someone up? Laptop time.

    It's a war of attrition, and the only way to win is one scrap at a time (for my life right now that is).

    Oh, but that doesn't mean I don't blow hours on the internet, or still prefer the quiet couch. But squeezing in work in tiny little bits of time really gets you to focus on what's important.

    Caveat: It's hard. making your brain come into a place as vastly different as your work to your WIP in the ten minute gap that is the last scrap of lunch break ain't easy, but it's apparently really good for fighting off dementia later...

    1. Hi Rena! I wish that I could get into a habit of taking those bits of time here and there and use them to work. I need to start carrying my laptop with me and to figure out how to jump into my WIP at a moment's notice. Any tips?

  3. I tend to print out drafts and rewrite on the couch/at a table or desk. Then I inevitably make some extra changes when I change the computer document. It helps me get into a different mindset. And, when it's sunny, I rewrite in the garden!

    1. Ohhh, I wish I had a garden! That sounds devine.

  4. I don't have a laptop so I am forced to write/revise/edit on my computer in the living room. I also do it on my lunch break at work. I can see a trip to the library going like yours though. I think if I had a laptop I would lock the doors to my room and work while propped up in my bed.

    My sons LOVE The Lorax book so we MUST go see the movie. Thanks for recommending it.

    1. The Lorax was incredible! Tell me how your sons and their cousin like it. I am not able to use my laptop in places like bed (it makes my legs hot) or our oversized chair (when I am too comfy it's like my desire to do work goes out the window).


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