Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Comfortable Place To Write (NaNoWriMo November 3rd)

I need more than an idea to write for 30 days non-stop. I also need a good place to write. What makes a writer's nook comfortable?

For me, anyway, there are three essentials:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Power and WiFi for my Chromebook
  • Supplies of caffeinated beverages

Additional benefits come from choosing a place other than my computer desk at home:

  • Delivery of said beverages to my table
  • Stimulation that is not distracting: view of the sky, occasional cars driving by, none of the usual invitations to stop writing (to watch TV, cook dinner, or pet the cats, for example)
  • Cycling Muzak tape with no vocals
  • Delicious munchies, but with a price tag to help me resist over-indulgence

I've tried many locations for writing. At the Library, they won't let you open a cold Mountain Dew, and the chairs are appallingly uncomfortable. At the mall Food Court, there are very few power-points, and no WiFi. Starbucks has some comfortable seating, but you have to walk away from your computer to get a resupply of beverage—I've written there, but they can get exercised over a customer sitting for hours with a single soda.

Then they opened a Chick-fil-A here in town, just in time for NaNoWriMo 2013.

The food is really good, but that's not why Chick-fil-A is such a great place to write. That has more to do with my three essentials. Comfortable seating: pick any bench seat, and land your derrière on it. Sink into the thick foam. Scoot back against the upright bench back, and pull the table closer. Perfect configuration for typing! I prefer the benches, but the chairs also have a generous amount of supportive foam padding, enough to handle a multi-hour session.

There are four benches next to a power connection in our local restaurant, and Chick-fil-A supplies free WiFi. You just have to sign in and agree to the terms. (No access to porn sites - it's a family restaurant, after all!)

I saved the best for last. We get breakfast at the restaurant almost every day, with a caffeinated beverage (Diet Coke in my case). Then the staff come around every once in a while and ask if I need a refill. I don't have to stop writing at all—I just hand Angel or Don my cup, and it arrives back at the table, full of the power of caffeine! Chick-fil-A has coffee now, too. But I'm not a coffee drinker...

The additional benefits for a good place to write are all there, too: visual stimulation without interruption, pleasant Muzak cycling through non-vocal pieces, the option to reward myself with a milkshake or a chocolate chunk cookie after surpassing my word goal for today.

In 2006, my first NaNoWriMo, I wrote at home. I didn't have a portable computer, I didn't know anyone in the community of WriMos, and I was much too nervous about admitting I was trying to write 50,000 words in one month. I dithered, I got distracted, I quit too early every day because I just couldn't sit at the computer long enough to let the words flow. I barely made it.

This year feels easy. I give a lot of credit to finding a comfortable place to write. Eat Mor Chikin, Writ Mor Wurds!

Total: 5918 words