Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Writing Life

I find myself this morning, once again, at Starbucks. Rather than dithering on about characters and such, I've decided to talk about what keeps bringing me back to my favorite big, red chair across from the bar.

Alice knows why.

If other aspiring writers are anything like me, they have trouble finding time to write. Besides writing, I have things like college, work, and significant others competing for my time. Not surprisingly, writing does not always sit highest on my list of priorities, and as a result, I don't always get much writing done. This cannot always be blamed on my other commitments, however. Sometimes, I find myself sitting in front of the computer at home with a blank open office document, (yes, I use OpenOffice, don't hate.) unable or unwilling to write anything clever or coherent.

A cheapskate's best friend.

I came to the conclusion that writing at home wasn't for me. I just couldn't get in the write mindset [har har, I know, I'm a wriot (ha, did it again!)] Therefore, I decided to try out "working at the office." Maybe getting out of the home would be just the kick in the pants my muse needed. So, unwilling to resist a good cliche, I drove to the Starbucks nearest my house. It's also nice that my significant other happens to work here. See, never say I can't kill multiple birds with single stones ;).

In short, my coffeehouse writing experiment was an unparalleled success. In all my time at home, I managed to complete one short story. Conversely, during my short time working at Starbucks, I've completed one full short story and made significant progress on two others. Plus, I've outlined the beginning half of my first novel -- and, as you've likely gathered, I do most of my blogging here as well. You might think all of the motion and noise common at Starbucks would distract me from my work, but, quite contrarily, the constant hubbub caused me to focus even harder, upping my efficiency. Starbucks, it turns out, is the perfect place for this particular aspiring writer. I guess all cliches start somewhere.

More than meets the eye. Or is that Transformers?

Not all writers are like me. There are countless approaches to the writing life, only one of them being working away from home. Many writers, including several that I admire, prefer the big red chair in front of their fireplace versus the one in the coffeehouse with the chaos and commotion. But hey, it works for me.

So, I know many of you have dreams and extracurricular pursuits outside of your day jobs. I would love to hear about your secret projects and the strategies you use to work on them in the comments below. Also, I'm looking for a free, outside html-based music player program to embed in this blog. If you have any ideas or information, feel free to shoot me an email at Until next time...

Happy writing,  rhyming, and reminiscing,



  1. Jarryd, I am fascinated by people like yourself who can mute the surrounding chaos and use that skill to generate laser-focused concentration. For me, silence is the cocoon in which my creativity matures. Busy environments steal my attention and my writing whithers without ever emerging from my imagination.

  2. Well, music helps as well. I always have my ipod handy here at sbux. I always need music to write, and I believe that will be my next topic for pontification. Music doesn't seem to help so much at home, though. I was listening primarily to Percy Aldridge Grainger's music while writing this post, and I'm listening to Holst's "The Planets" while I finish part 2 of Jubilee, the piece you heard from me at Howl.

  3. Writing at the local coffee shop - you & JK Rowling! Hope it brings you the same success!

  4. I like it when you come in and write in your big red chair :) Also, try out It worked well on my blogger account.