It’s true. I’m new to the whole business of book publishing—newer probably than a lot of you reading right now. I learn things about the business every day and while I certainly know more now than I did six weeks ago, I’m still no authority on how to get your book published or even how to perfectly market it so anyone takes interest.
I am not, however, new to reading, writing, or writing while reading. Those things I’ve been doing for years and have gotten pretty good at them! On a functional level at least… In any case, I’m familiar enough with the mechanics of all three (the last is my newest skill as I was never an underliner or write-in-the-margins type of girl until about a year ago). I know what works best for me, personally, when I want to really focus and concentrate on the literary task at hand. Location is key, and the rest of the elements kind of follow from there.
I work and concentrate best, I’ve found, away from home. In my apartment, I get too distracted, listless. My internet is out this week, so I can’t even blame the world wide web as a whole. I don’t know what it is about being in whatever place I’m calling home at the moment, but I can never really concentrate whilst there. If I have a great book I’m eager to read, a piece I need to write, or some other sort of work to get done, my best bet is a coffee shop. Currently, I live exactly one block away from my very favorite coffee shop, so it’s never an issue of getting there when I want to read or have work to do. And thus, I’m on a first name basis with most of the people that work there.
Being out of the house means that I have to be dressed in appropriate out-of-the-house clothing. Which means my brain is more likely not to think that it’s okay to fall asleep or stop working in some other, disastrous way. Being in a coffee shop means that I get a big, warm mug to hold in my hands, which I really find soothing and comforting, while working out any more complicated ideas I may need to put the book or pen down for.
There’s an atmosphere of liveliness that I find invigorating, but not too distracting—unless I feel the need to be distracted, that is. In any case, coffee shops and cafes where the servers leave you well enough alone are my havens of productivity. (Though I did just have a lengthy discussion with a friend over the perils of reading books likely to make you cry in public.)
I’m curious to see if others share my love of chalkboard menus and all the varieties of caffeine you could want or if you’re on a totally different side of the fence.