Everyone Needs a Hiding Place
When you were a kid you had one. You used it every time you wanted to get away from your parents, siblings or just to avoid chores. You need one now too. Probably even more urgently than when you were younger.
- Mine is a little corner of my favorite Starbucks where they have an electric outlet right behind my chair to plug in my laptop, a window view for the sun to warm my back and a clear view of the counter so I can jump up and grab my drink when it’s ready. (I’m sitting there now)
- I don’t know why, but this is where I’m most productive with my writing and feel at peace. 1 hour at Starbucks = 5 hours of failed writing attempts at home.
- My apartment is perfectly quiet and I have a desk all to myself where I can work as long as I want. Unfortunately the call of the TV, cell phone, email, Facebook and the refrigerator call me with their individual siren songs.
- If you were a fly on the wall watching me try to write at home you would fall of the wall laughing.
- I get up at least 5 times every 20 minutes to do whatever is unimportant.
- The other day, I left my manuscript and decided that I simply must empty the half empty trash cans and throw them away. Ten minutes later and I was checking my email, watching my all my friends’ snowman photos on Facebook. Then I went back to work for 10 more minutes, only to stop again because I was suddenly curious where the concept of snowmen came from and decided to Google it, since, of course, you can Google anything.
- It’s amazing how much you can Google in a given day if you want to distract yourself badly enough.
Here’s the mystery:
- I can Google at Starbucks, check Facebook, email, make phone calls and even jump up to the counter every 10 minutes and order something new like a crazy person. But I don’t.
- Maybe because I have a deep respect for my hiding place. I don’t want to offend it with trivial distracted activities.
- Perhaps it’s because getting here in time to grab my favorite seat before someone snatches it is a gift. I appreciate that gift and want to spend my time wisely.
- It’s my set time allotted to myself-which is why I respect it.
- At home, I don’t need to fight anyone for that seat. It’s there whenever I need it and that’s probably why I take it for granted. I misuse it with fake, wasted, internet surfing and a million breaks to straighten, organize, make my bed, alpabetize my credit cards, and refold towels. All in the name of wasting time and avoiding the task at hand.
- If you ever came to my place while I’m writing and see that it‘s spotless, and everything is in order, it means I’ve been wasting time. Scold me.
- If you come to my place while I’m writing and see a mess, papers everywhere, the dishes not washed, the bed unmade and my hair disheveled but I still look happy, that means I’ve been a good girl. Give me a cookie. Then I will kick you out so that I can write some more.
Note: Nothing makes a writer more insane than someone who tries to disturb that writing time with a phone call, repeated texts or an ill-timed visit.
- Don’t take it personally. You are wonderful. It’s being in what I like to call, “The writing zone”, that can make any writer crazy when it is disturbed. We often behave like lions who just found out that someone was trying to hurt their babies. Our baby is our writing time. It’s a precious gift in this busy world.
- It’s like we are Smeagol from Lord of the rings and you are the trespasser trying to take our “Precious” away. Be careful. We may bite (and yes, I actually took the time to look up the correct spelling of Sméagol. I Googled. Can’t help it.)
- Do you have a hiding place that you go to? What hobby or dream do you cultivate there?
- If you don’t have a hiding place, you need to get one. The louder and messier your life is, the more you need one. It will keep you sane. You will get back in touch with yourself, your purpose and what you are meant to do.
- Your hiding place makes it possible for you to endure the crazy world we live in. You are better equipped to handle the rest of the world outside of your cozy hiding place.
When you find it, you must protect your time there and guard it with your life.