Saturday, April 28, 2007

Leaving home.... write. Well, to work on fiction. I've done it sporadically over the years, but finally realized I had to do it like a job. So I went out and bought a new battery for my iBook, one that lasts almost four hours.

It works like this: I drop my son at school and go to a cafe. One morning it was Kean, the next Starbucks near UC-Irvine. I work on the revision of Starletta's Kitchen for two hours and then I leave. I vow not to check email, although my original intention was to work at cafes that are not wireless. But now the world seems to be wireless and it's difficult to find a place that isn't. Maybe the beach, or a park. But I want to work at a table. Monday through Friday, unless something comes up that I have to take care of, this is what I plan to do.

At home it's too difficult to not get distracted. And as Dennis Palumbo has said, email is death to writers.


Today is the first day of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA. I'm moderating a panel this a.m. on fiction and humor. So many great panels. I believe BookTV will be broadcasting some. Anyone going?

The ASJA conference in NYC last weekend was stellar. Great panels there, too. (They're for sale at


I like what Melissa Bank said at the panel on Voice at the ASJA conference. She said she has a drawing of a rhinoceros being airlifted and it reminds her that writing is difficult.

What techniques do y'all use to get writing done?


Don said...

But at starbucks you have to pay for the wireless. That's good enough to keep me off of it.

Don said...

Oh, and a few other tips: Turn down the notification volume in the sounds pane of system preferences so you won't be notified immediately of e-mails (that alone is enough to keep me from noticing that an e-mail has come in). There's also writeroom which gives you a full-screen no-distractions writing environment on your mac. Some people swear by it, but I find that I like having some of the stuff that's in word too much (like the automatic spell correction, etc.) to give that up.

~jolene said...

Barbara, there is a quiet park in Laguna - Crescent tables though...yet on the cliff edge of the park there is concrete 'stadium' type seating -- and you could bring a folding wooden t.v. type tray. It is in a neighborhood, safe and beautiful and only about five minutes from home!

Technomommy said...

The nice thing about an indoor cafe is not having to worry about rogue winds whipping up.

I usually try to write while my daughter plays at the park. We have used Northwood Community Park at Bryan and Yale. Our favorite park is Pioneer at the top of Jamboree (Jamboree & Pioneer). We love the landscaping. It also has picnic tables and clean bathrooms!