It is clear that when I write, I feel most at home when I am in the calm of the room I set aside for writing. I light a few candles, put on some mellow music, get a cup of tea (sometimes wine, depending on the time of day of course), get into some comfy clothing, take a few deep breaths and then let ideas flow.
Unfortunately life sometimes gets busy and finding the time to sit in my “happy space” is not always possible, yet the ideas are coming whether I like it or not. I feel bad for the folks out there with writer’s block, but this is the opposite extreme which can be just as inconvenient.. it’s almost like a “stomach flu” of words. So the question is how to harness this flood of words and ideas when I am not otherwise occupied.
The ideal free time seemed to be during my commute to and from work which can yield a good 90 minutes per day (And that is on a good day! If traffic is bad, it could take up to 2 hours total) The only trade off would be to sacrifice some of my quality reading time, but I figured if the brain wave was there and would help to populate my new blog, I might as well ride the wave!
At first the idea of writing in public, especially on public transit, made me feel strange… a little shy, in fact. I don’t know why, but the idea of people seeing my unfinished work is probably on par with a feeling of being naked in public. I don’t know if it is the fear of a total stranger coming at me with a red pen and revision marks or someone looking over my shoulder and tapping me to correct a dangling participle. It was just an odd prospect. But I figured so many people make coffee shops their blog headquarters, why should I be any different. Why couldn’t the bus be my satellite office?
In any case, the first morning I tried it, the performance anxiety of writing kicked in. Should I be getting a privacy screen to ensure no one could read this very rough, preliminary, draft, work-in-progress of a blog entry? The words were just not coming… it was like being at a urinal in a bathroom full of theatre patrons at intermission. PRESSURE!
I tried to rationalize that I am offering my blogs to you, the audience out in the web sphere, comprised of friends and strangers. Why would a stranger on the bus be any different especially if they were interested enough to read a rough draft over my shoulder? So they get to see the work-in-progress, the rehearsal and the blooper reel, what is wrong with that? Those can be pretty fun too.
After a few minutes of staring off into the distance (the morning coffee hadn’t kicked in yet) the words started coming …and coming …and coming whether I liked it or not. And so the blogging in public began, without the feeling of public nudity. After about 10 minutes, I looked up to take a breath and wait for the next brain wave to come, only to realize that no one was looking at me, everyone was too busy looking at their own phones, tablets, books and textbooks to give a hoot about what I was doing. Before I knew it, the next brainwave came and then the next, and I was set for the rest of the bus ride. On the bus ride home that night, I picked up exactly where I left off and without really thinking about it, started building upon what I had written that morning.
I think I found my new satellite office!