Monday, September 22, 2008

On public.

There are times when I really, really need to get out of the house in order to get some writing done. It's one of the reasons I bought a laptop in the first place. Sometimes I just need to be in a different environment (particularly one that doesn't have internet access) to get into a frame of mind to get something done. And it's weird what places get me into what frame of mine; I think it's the change of scenery more than the actual scenery itself. I'm pretty certain that's the case, actually. Otherwise, I'd be hard-pressed to figure out what warped part of my psyche has resulted in writing a sex scene while dining at Denny's, a violent and gory battle scene in the peace and quiet of the library, and a lengthy, violent rape scene while sitting in the middle of the food court at the shopping mall. Sometimes my living room just doesn't cut it. What can I say?

I've found that writing at the library, in a restaurant, in a park, wherever, can be very productive. However, it often brings with it another set of frustrations.

A screen full of text seems to invite lengthy conversations from waitstaff. This really annoys me. I'm *clearly* working, so please STFU and bring me food. That's why I'm paying you, and your tip will reflect it if you insist on disturbing me excessively. I don't usually say anything, because I'm afraid someone will spit in my food or something. I wear headphones, which *usually* sends a clear message of "please don't talk to me", but it doesn't *always* work.

So...I've come up with a few responses that I *wish* I had the balls to actually use:
  1. "What are you writing?" -- Nothing, now that you're standing here talking to me.
  2. "Is that for school?" -- Yes. It's my fourth grade thesis. Coffee?
  3. "Oooo, I'm writing a book's about..." -- My disinterested face: let me show you it.
  4. "Oooo, what's it about?" -- It's about time for you to refill my coffee.
  5. "My friend is an author. She self-published instead of going through all of that other nonsense." -- Bring me the whole coffee pot. Preferably full and hot. Then stand there. I'm going to throw it at you.

It's not that I mind conversation, or being asked about my writing, but there really comes a point when my subtle/polite "go the fuck away" gestures are not getting through, and I really want to just tell them to go away. Most of the time, the headphones do the trick, or the furrowed brow and racing hands across the keyboard. I suppose it's a good thing that Hollywood has portrayed writers as brooding emo bastards who drink heavily and have hot tempers: it seems to scare some people away. Hey, I don't like the bad reputation anymore than anyone else, but in this case, the end justifies the means.


  1. I might try that when I'm in town tomorrow. I'll take my Neo, my mp3 player and see if anyone interrupts me. On the days when I'm looking for a ruck I never get one though. *sigh*

    But then, I'm getting my makeup done so maybe my new emo-eyes will scare people off!

    PS: An addition for your #3.
    "Does this look like a face that cares?"

    I long for the chance to use that line.

  2. Just stopping by for another look at your blogbanner.

    I should be in bed but all of a sudden I'm not tired.

  3. You forgot to address the annoying over the shoulder reader

  4. misa: I almost always sit with my back to a wall to avoid that very thing. If I can't, well, they get the look of DEATH if they try to read over my shoulder.

    Commie bastards...they might be tryin' to steal my writingz...