block2Is there really such a beast as “writer’s block”? Some writers talk about the fear of the empty page, i.e. getting started. That’s never been much of a problem for me. One cure for writer’s block is to avoid self-editing and vomit up anything and everything onto the page. That’s pretty much how I write anyway. This post is a case in point.

I was struggling with what to write today. I might have blown it off completely, but having a designated day for my weekly post is beyond helpful; it’s crucial. As Charlie Brown sings in his portion of the song “Book Report“…

I work best under pressure,
And there’ll be lots of pressure
If I wait till tomorrow
I should start writing now.

I am, in fact, more likely to get down to work if I have a deadline. Whether I work best under that kind of pressure, I’ll leave to others to judge. Tuesday is my deadline for this post, thus here we are.

Where and when one chooses to write can also have a significant bearing on the amount and quality of work produced. When I’m home, the distractions are many and varied and all come with a misleading urgency because they’re in my face. When that happens, I head for a neutral place, a local coffee shop or restaurant (both of the independent variety, of course) that has free wi-fi and doesn’t mind me hanging around nursing a Coke or a muffin for three hours at a time. (I don’t drink coffee. Go figure.)

Even there, I’m distracted. I carry the number one distraction with me wherever I write: my laptop and, by inference, the Internet. The entire (virtual) world begs me to explore countless pages of inane videos, meaningless sports scores, and boundless trivia.

Sometimes, because I crave natural light, I settle in the front window of a terrific little bakery/cafe. Watching cars drive by becomes my own little reality show. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • People text while driving… a lot.
  • If they aren’t texting, they’re generally talking on the phone, even if there is someone else in the car. However…
  • Somewhere around 90% of the cars, regardless of their size, have only one occupant. (Could there be a less efficient way to move people around?)
  • People like to stare at someone sitting in the window of a little bakery/cafe.

That’s a lot of distraction. Maybe I’m better off at home. I got this post off, didn’t I?