Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Forcing Ourselves to Work

blog72 Yesterday I couldn’t seem to get anything done. My focus was completely shot.

And…naturally…I’m under a deadline. A couple of them, actually.

I’d start working on my synopsis and the phone would ring. I’d start working again and the dishwasher would stop running. I’d try again and the dryer buzzer would go off.

Then I realized I needed to send an email before I forgot. Suddenly, a bunch of messages popped up for me on Twitter. And another email popped up. And…

I decided to run away from home. To a place with no Wi-Fi. And no appliances.

Finding a place with no Wi-Fi or available connections is getting more and more difficult.

It was 10:00 in the morning and if I went to my usual coffeehouses, I’d have Wi-Fi access. There would also be people I knew there that would talk with me (ordinarily not a bad thing, but bad on a day when I needed to get 2 1/2 hours of work done.)

I live in a small town that’s a suburb of Charlotte, NC. But to get to a spot where I’d have no hope of jumping on a Wi-Fi or seeing someone I know, I was going to have to drive.

Over the railroad tracks, out into the country.

Past silos.

Past fields.

And…fortunately, this wasn’t too far away. Because I do have kids to get from the bus stop at 2:00.

There was a restaurant that claimed to have “family style cooking.” I pulled up. I checked my cell phone and it did still have a signal (good, since I needed to be in touch if my children’s schools called me.)

I checked my laptop in the parking lot. Nope. No connection. What’s more, there was no possible available Wi-Fi connection listed anywhere. Perfect!

I walked in and the restaurant was full of retired people and blue collar workers eating breakfast before heading to the next job. I knew no one there! Perfect!

The wall next to my booth had a black and white picture of an old man on a tractor. I’m writing a rural setting. Even more perfect!!

A waitress was singing to the 60s music that was playing. If the waitress was happy then I could loiter for a while. That was perfect, too!

I wanted eggs and toast and coffee. But this place is so small they only offered 3 things for breakfast each day. But I could have coffee and an omelet. I placed my order. Perfect!

I opened up my internet-ridded computer and started working. I looked up. People were staring at me. This meant I had to keep looking down at my computer…and my words….so I wouldn’t notice the odd looks I was getting. That worked…perfectly!

“Would you like more coffee?”

Why yes! Yes, I would.

45 minutes after getting there, the people who were in the restaurant when I walked in the door were still there. Even better—I wasn’t the only one lingering. These people had nothing else to do with their day. Perfect!

Two hours later and I’d finished all the writing I needed to get done. There were absolutely no interruptions besides someone occasionally asking if I’d like more coffee. There was no laundry to tend to. There was no one to talk to.

It was drastic, but it worked. Perfectly.

How do you get back on-track when your writing day is derailed?