I’m busy. I work full time, sing in my church choir, cart my theater loving teenager to and from endless rehearsals and dance classes, keep house—sort of—stock the family larder with essentials like Cheerios and toilet paper. I’m busier than a three-legged dog marooned on Flea Island.
And expected to meet a deadline.
Not just any deadline mind you, but one requiring I hand over a small piece of my heart and soul, one that has been perfected over months and polished to the point that someone might actually want to read it.
Most of you probably keep a similar schedule. Welcome to the life of the Modern Writer.
Here’s how I manage. My house stays messy. I don’t cook as much as I used to, and I snatch a few moments of quality time with Thing Two in the car between activities. My husband and I high five one another on the way out the door—he’s deep in the throes of rehearsal as Tevya in a local production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.
Did I mention I live with more than one theatre buff?
Anyhow, recently I discovered Starbucks.
I know, I know, Starbucks has been around a while. But I’m not a coffee drinker, so America’s favorite coffee house has never appealed to me.
Necessity makes strange bedfellows, the old saying goes, and I am currently in the throes of a love/hate affair with Starbucks.
It’s the kid’s fault, see. She goes from production to production in her theater department and she’s 15, which means she can’t drive. We live too far away from her high school to run back and forth, so I sit at Starbucks and write while she’s at play practice.
I sit at Starbucks a lot.
I’ve developed a fondness for their Passion Ice Tea and bruises on my backside from their hard wooden chairs. (Some other person ALWAYS homesteads in the comfy seat before my arrival, leaving me to roost in one of the cruel chairs.)
At first, I couldn’t write because of the canned music and the constant buzz of customers in and out of the store. Then there was the dull ache radiating from my bruised posterior as I tried not to inventory what the other customers were reading.
Did you know, for example, there’s a magazine completely dedicated to sheep?
But, I’ve adapted. The nerve endings in my butt have died, and my brain has learned that sitting in Starbucks is the cue to write. Now, I no longer hear the music or notice the noise of the baristas. As for my abused behonkus, I chalk it up to suffering for my art.
The point is we can train ourselves as writers. In my case, the green and white blinking light of a Starbucks’s sign throws my creative brain into gear.
Thank goodness, because I have a deadline approaching.
I’ll have a Trenta Passion Tea, please. Hold the sheep.