Happy day to all those folks worthy of today’s accolades. Today my wife let me sleep in, the Goon brought me two pieces of toast to wake me up, I was happy to receive a number of homemade or store-bought gifts, the C-Dog mowed the lawn, and my darling wife graciously allowed me to sneak out of the house this afternoon to visit a favorite brewery/restaurant. A day doesn’t get better than this!
So as I sit here enjoying a delicious perfectly-cold Maibock (complete with a souvenir mug!) and tapping out today’s post on my new tablet I got to thinking about writing- and how where I am influences my writing. There is something about taking myself out of the house and sitting down to write that really clicks. I mean- REALLY clicks. This isn’t even the first blog post I’ve written from a bar stool at Gordon-Biersch. (I’m pretty happy with this one.) If I lived in England, I could absolutely see me visiting the local pub many nights to have a pint and write. (That is actually on my bucket list, come to think of it.)
I know that sitting myself down in a public place- with people, noise, and distraction around me- does something to kickstart my writing. Maybe there is some kind of quasi-cognitive dissonance that happens when I place myself in an external environment. It might be a by-product of my day job. As I’ve written before, I work in the insurance field- not exactly every small boy’s dream career. I am lucky enough, though, to work from home full-time. I really appreciate this- it helps my work-life balance immensely. My old commute to our downtown office was not bad (probably 15 minutes door-to-door) but the difference between a 15 minute commute and a 30 second commute- the time from my kitchen coffee maker and my office upstairs- is surprisingly sharp. The one problem though, with this setup, is that I often spend 10 hours a day in my office. Which also houses my separate personal computer and desk.
That is a problem. I’ve always been able to wear one appropriately-corporate persona to earn my daily bread while keeping my personal perspective private. This blog, though, reveals my most intimate thoughts, hopes, and failings in a way that don’t think I’d do at work. So while I appreciate the luxury of a home office, I can’t think of any blog posts that were created there. I just can’t write like I’ve committed to doing HERE when I’m sitting THERE.
Whatever- why question this? After being blocked by fear and self-doubt for so long, I’ve found something that works. I can’t write in my home office. I’ve written a few pieces sitting at my kitchen table. A few more scratchings in my notebook sprawled on my couch. But the one enduring element in my writing is this- plop me down in comfortable bar (preferably with a decent pint in front of me) and I start writing. Breaking 25 years of bad habits- too afraid to write- is hard enough. Why not take a lay-up and put myself someplace I know that I will write?
So thank you, my wife and children, for allowing Dad to be gone for a few hours this afternoon in the pursuit of something that is immensely self-actualizing and fulfilling. This is just the latest in many wonderful gifts today- I’m a lucky Dad! 🙂
To satisfy that inner critic that polices my work most harshly- let me ask this question. Do you have some particular ritual or requirement for your creative processes? Please comment and share below!
(p.s. Thank you Jenta for the cold beer, great service, and delicious food while I sat here- being very unsocial- as I wrote!)