Whenever I’ve imagined myself as a full-time writer, which I’ve recently become after getting laid off, I’ve thought I’d have a home office filled with my secret passion, office supplies, with a place for everything and everything in its place. There would be a shelf above my desk for all my writing-related books, story boards and to-do lists and order. Instead, I’ve found that, try as I might, writing at home only happens under duress, in bed late at night, if I simply cannot not write.
Instead, thanks to my MacBook Pro, I am a portable writer. My “desk” is anywhere, usually a cafe like The West Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where I can enjoy music, tea, coffee, and, while I don’t chat much there, the feeling of being surrounded by other people who are working.
I’m also superstitious, in a way, because if I’ve successfully written a story at one cafe or other location, I’ll go back there in the hopes of repeating my feat. And believe me, even after writing erotic short stories and essays for over ten years, every time I complete a task, whether it’s a long blog post or an assignment, it feels like a feat. I also need somewhere with steady internet access so I can update my cupcake blog Cupcakes Take the Cake, or do research or simply take a necessary break from writing.
For me, the actual space is less important than the atmosphere (a little noise is good, too much is distracting) and me forcing myself to dig into the words. I like to say that it takes me about four hours to write a story: three hours to putter around and one hour to actually write it. While one might think that I could speed ahead to that hour, and I greatly wish I could, I’ve found that that’s simply not how I work. So I need somewhere I can stretch out, spread out my papers and sometimes multiple books, which I may pick up and read a little, blog a quote from, then get excited about a given idea and get back to one of the many open documents in Word.
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