So this screenplay is not my first foray into the world of writing. I have written (and had published) dozens of articles, served as a regular columnist for a magazine, and written two books before this.
Well, partially written two books. One was a complete book proposal and about 50 random pages before I abandoned it. It was a great book, but I was not getting much encouragement from publishers and agents. And unfortunately, this was long enough ago that self-publishing still had a pretty large stigma. If I was writing it today, I am certain I would self-publish it. The other book simply had no ending! So frustrating! It was 90% complete, but I could not come up with a satisfactory ending. That is still safely tucked away in my external hard drive, just in case I have a flash of inspiration. I’m still hopeful…
When I was working on my first book, I shaved some time off of my teaching schedule so that I had three days a week available to get creative and capture my imagination on paper. I knew I could not work from home – too many pets, kids, microwave popcorn, wine…
That’s when I discovered Starbucks, long after most of the world was comfortable with the strange sounding drink names. I’m not a coffee drinker, which makes going to Starbucks a bit tough. But there is something about being out in the world, with the chaos going on around me, that helps me concentrate. That is probably the sign of some mental disorder, but there you are.
Someone suggested a frappuccino. And that was the beginning of a torrid love affair and dysfunctional addiction.
Once I stopped working on that book, I no longer had a need to frequent Starbucks, so my mocha frappuccino’s slowly became a distant memory as I went through an upsetting withdrawal.
Then I began work on this screenplay in January of 2015. And guess what? I needed somewhere to write! Somewhere without a TV, a full refrigerator, or a cozy comforter. Once again, I cut back my teaching schedule to focus on writing and headed out to Starbucks. Several times a week. For 12 months. And a medium mocha frappuccino each time. Seriously. Each time. I would have one of those instead of lunch. And it made me so happy!
Oh. And in February, I injured the tendon in my ankle and had to stop exercising (which was only faintly troubling) and wearing heels (what?!). I was finally able to get around pain-free in October. I knew I was woefully out of shape, so I joined a gym, jumped on the scale, and found I weighed ten pounds more than I had ever weighed in my life (if you don’t count during pregnancy, that is)! I am confident – that was ten pounds of medium mocha frappuccino with whipped cream!
Now, I am so addicted, that if I am near a Starbucks, I have to buy one. No, I can’t get an iced tea or a juice. I intend to, but my mouth says medium mocha frappuccino with whipped cream every time, no matter my intentions.
It is clear. I cannot go to Starbucks anymore. So I am in search of a new place (don’t suggest CBTL – I just buy their equivalent and then am pissed because it doesn’t taste as good!). I tried the library and even brought my own food and drink. Too quiet. Something about the activity around me improves my writing and my productivity. I’ve been to the mall, to restaurants, my office at school. I can’t get excited about any of them.
I am writing this at home right now, and it is taking me forever!
Where do you like to write? Where are you most productive? Maybe I can try it out. In the meantime, if I find a good spot, I will be sure to share.