Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Last Saturday, I attended a workshop in LA with Julia Quinn, which included lots of wonderful advice on writing dialogue and much helpful insight on career issues…but there was one thing JQ said that just about chilled the blood in my veins.

Starbucks is moving to free Internet.

Oh dear. Can I pretend I didn’t hear that?
*sticking fingers in ears*

Didn’t work. Hmph.

Man oh man. What will I do? Starbucks has become my go-to place when I really, really need to just write with no distractions. (Amazing, isn’t it, that I can ignore noisy espresso grinders and Joss Stone soundtracks more easily than I can ignore the siren song of the Internet?)

Why is it, that it’s easier to do just about ANYTHING than write? I find myself folding laundry to procrastinate sometimes. Every time I open up my WIP file and sit down to work on it, it feels like this monumental act of courage for which I surely deserve some sort of gold-plated award–or at the very least, a merit badge. Failing those, I *know* I’ve earned my latte and scone, which is why Starbucks is so perfect.

It’s a source of comfort, though, to know that most authors go through the same thing. So kindly make me feel better.

Do you play little mind games with yourself, to get motivated to write? Where do you go when you just really have to get things done, without distractions? Do you have to bribe yourself with scones? Or something else?

And most importantly, where can I go, if Starbucks is no longer safe?

EDIT: Oh, and I see I’ve been tagged by Gina. Yay! Another way to procrastinate! 😉
I’ll try to get to that later this week.

14 comments to “Is nowhere safe?”

  1. terrio
    · May 6th, 2008 at 1:20 pm · Link

    I haven’t ventured to the places around here to see who has wireless and who doesn’t. But I plan to find a cool place to go and write this summer while Kiddo is gone.

    I’ve perfected NOT writing. LOL! It’s really quite simple. You just find anything else to do. And lets face it, there’s always something else to do. Fold clothes, put the clothes away, sweep the floor, take out the garbage, write a blog. The options are limitless!

    And you could always disable your wireless. Would that work? I know I have a little switch on the front of my comp to turn it on and off. Needless to say, I never turn it off.

  2. Renee
    · May 6th, 2008 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I haven’t ventured out of the house yet either. Although with as crazy as it is at my house I should. My mother has offered her place, but I know how that will go, especially now that my four year old niece is a permanent fixture there.

    I’ve even tried getting up at 5:00 AM, but it seems that by day two, the kids decided they needed to be up too.

    Words this week have been like a drop of water in a desert. I was thoroughly proud of my 14 words yesterday.

    And yes, I’ve found myself cleaning the toilet in lieu of writing.

    Lord knows I’m addicted to the Internet enough as it is when I’m at home, who knows what I’d do if I had Internet and peace and quiet.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.


  3. Maggie Robinson
    · May 6th, 2008 at 3:47 pm · Link

    Since I won’t have use of a laptop until the summer I have no choice but to stay right in my little writing room. Last week I decided to go on an Internet diet and it’s almost working, except I’m here.

    I don’t think I could write with strangers around though, and I don’t drink coffee. Unless I could go to Starbucks braless and in my PJs…

  4. Jackie Barbosa
    · May 6th, 2008 at 3:50 pm · Link

    Every time I open up my WIP file and sit down to work on it, it feels like this monumental act of courage for which I surely deserve some sort of gold-plated award–or at the very least, a merit badge.

    Oh, Lordy, you’re singing my song! I’m having the same problem. And damn, the Internets are a fantastical procrastination tool. See, I’m doing it now. I should be writing, but no, I am commenting on Tessa’s blog! And then I will go find another to read and comment on. And another. And another.


    Best tool I’ve found to overcome this is IM and writing challenges. If I can find a few buddies to write with and I know we’re going to be checking in with word counts, it helps a lot. Even if I don’t get a lot, I always get more than I would without the push.

  5. Tessa Dare
    · May 6th, 2008 at 4:38 pm · Link

    Terri, that is so true – there is ALWAYS something else to do. Worse, there is always something else I should have already done! I do know how to disable my wireless – but the thing is, I also know how to turn it back on. 🙂 Dangit.

    Renee, I’ve thought about that getting up early thing – I know it wouldn’t work for me. I’m just not a morning person,alas. And you should be proud of those 14 words!

    Maggie – I don’t know about braless, but i’ve definitely gone to Starbucks in various stages of shlump. If I had a little writing room like yours, though, I might not need to go anywhere.

    Jackie – You and I need to hook up for some writing challenges!

  6. Santa
    · May 6th, 2008 at 7:57 pm · Link

    I am such an internet whore! While at Starbucks, I tap into the WiFi Panera offers. Sad but true. There are times where the words just flow and going on-line stays that progress. I have to confess that those instances are rare.

    The last and best place for me to go is my alma mater which is about 20 minutes north of where I live. Its library is gorgeous and faces the Hudson River. They even have the shades rigged so that when the sun sets over the Hudson, the shades go down; thereby, cutting off the possibility of staring at its beauty. However, the best reason for going there is that there is no internet or wireless connections. It’s IBM country and – get ready for it – the library only has token ring connectivity. Plus it’s open until 2am during mid-terms and finals.

  7. Jackie Barbosa
    · May 6th, 2008 at 8:05 pm · Link

    Tessa, if you have a Yahoo IM address, let me know what it is and I’ll buddy you. Then we can do challenges.

    I need ’em!

  8. Alice Audrey
    · May 7th, 2008 at 7:50 am · Link

    I made myself give up Freecell instead. When ever I hit that point where I can’t bear to look at the WIP one more minute I click over to the internet and dink around a minute. I’m finding it doesn’t take up much more of my time than the computer games did. Mind you, I played a LOT of Freecell. And Spider, and….

  9. Janga
    · May 7th, 2008 at 8:34 am · Link

    My summer has begun. Yah! I can now stay up and write between midnight and 4:00, my most productive writing time. Not only is my household relatively quiet but the internet communities I frequent are generally quiet as well, so I have fewer distractions from both my real and virtual worlds.

  10. Tiffany Kenzie
    · May 7th, 2008 at 9:24 am · Link

    I’m such an internet whore too. I lock myself in my bedroom with my ipod to write. I don’t sit outside, too many bugs and the sun is not my friend. I don’t drive, so I’d have to take a bus to the nearest Chapters–with a starbucks. But then I’d want to go check out books. I like my room, there is a bathroom close by for all my tea drinking, cause I can do a pot in a hours.
    There are many distractions available. And Jackie is right. you need someone to poke and prod and trod along at the same place as you. If you have someone to cheer and push, you get more done. 😉

    And I doubt starbucks will ever have free internet here… you have to tap into your cellphone and be billed that way.

  11. Elyssa Papa
    · May 7th, 2008 at 4:53 pm · Link

    I so agree… having people who are on the same page as you are and post word counts really drives me forward as a writer. I like being held accountable and I love having that support system from my group.

  12. Kim
    · May 7th, 2008 at 7:10 pm · Link

    Okay, you guys are way more motivated than I am. I don’t even look for ways to procrastinate. I just plop in my chair, shove George Clooney (ER Season 3 is my fav) in the dvd player and “take a break”. Yes, my husband laughs at me but whatevah.

    As far as challenging each other. I know two authors who compare word counts. Whoever meets the count first wins dinner from the loser at nationals.

    For writing undisturbed, get one of those things Christina Dodd uses. It doesn’t have internet 😉

  13. Kelly
    · May 8th, 2008 at 1:23 pm · Link

    I really hate to admit this, but what seems to be working for me lately is turning writing into the procrastination tool. Lately, I’m finding if I steal a minute or two here and there at the office, when I should be working but need a change of pace, I open up my WIP file on my flash drive, write for a few minutes.

    I guess because it’s not what I’m “supposed” to be doing, the temptation is that much greater. 🙂

    Also, our public library can be good for that – there’s no wireless there. The only trick is finding a quiet corner to hunker down in.

  14. doglady
    · May 12th, 2008 at 8:30 pm · Link

    Hello, Tessa and Crew! Jumping on to check in and say hello. I hope all of you are going to Nationals as I will be there and cannot wait to meet you!

    Like many of you, my writing attire precludes me going out in public. I do sometimes take a legal pad and pen out onto the back porch to write when the computer screen gets to be too much. Five acres of nature is a great inspiration.

    However, it can also be a great distraction. As can a bunch of rescued dogs who are now happy and healthy and want to play.

    I have found that buddying up with my critique partner, Erin McClune, on IM is a great motivator. We leave each other alone unless we get into trouble or have a question, but just the knowledge that someone else is there with you truly helps.

    The crew at Passion’s Slaves are all a big help. Erin, Marianne (Scarlett) Terry Jo and Gillian and I issue challenges to each other and we have a database on our group site where we have to post our daily word count and we have to post POOP (Proof Of Our Prose)- excerpts of what we have written. It is a great way to motivate each other.

    Then you can do something stupid like I did. I am deep in revisions of Lost in Love. I have started a Gothic Regency romance based which is actually a prequel to my gypsy girl story I wrote for AvonFanLit. I have about 30 pages done. I entered the first 15 pages in the Daphne du Maurier just to get some comments and see if it would fly. Guess what? It made the finals! I had to sent the first 30 pages and a synopsis for the final judge. So NOW I have one book to polish and another book to finish before Nationals. Am I nuts, or what? No room for procrastination now!

    Tessa you are going to have so much fun at Nationals! Can’t wait to see you there!