"Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

03 May 2013

comfort in chaos

Lately, Nathan has been sending me to the coffee shop for an hour or two every couple of days so I can write.

I've been going to a Biggby's just down the street from us, getting a regular coffee with mint flavor and half and half, and setting upstairs at a little table with my back against the wall. I plop my pink notebook down on the table in front of me, pull my pen out, and write.

It took me a while to find a spot to write. I kept searching out someplace quiet, a place where I could set in peace with nothing to interrupt my thoughts. I would get there, get settled in, and then--
--get incredibly distracted.

Everything would be quiet, 
then somebody would cough 
or answer a phone 
or drop something 
or slurp their coffee
and I would totally lose my train of thought.

The first time I sat down in what is now my favorite writing place, I almost didn't. It was loud! People meet there for everything from business to studying to friends just getting together to Bible study...so it is anything but a quiet place. There's even a radio playing all the time, often with songs I know. I'm a huge music person (I was always a choir nerd in school), so I just knew I would be way too distracted by all the chaos to get anything written.

Then, I wrote 2 pages without even really noticing it.

Huh. That's interesting.

I went back a couple of times that week, and the same thing happened: people talked and laughed and slurped coffee and dropped things and made lots of noise, and I wrote 2 or 3 pages in my hour long lunch break.

Life has always been busy for me.There's always been noise and chaos and just plain stuff all the time. I had this idea that I needed to lock myself away somewhere to write, to find a quiet place with no distractions.

Apparently, I was wrong. I'm a person who has always done multiple things at once. I listened to the radio while I did my homework, I always had 2 or 3 books on my nightstand because I couldn't read just one thing at a time (unless it's a Dean Koontz novel), and then when I was teaching I sat in the living room with the t.v. on while I graded papers. We even had the radio on in my classroom quite often.

Maybe I'm odd. Maybe most people need quiet and peace and solitude to write. I've always dreamed of spending a week by myself in a cabin somewhere, just me and the quiet and my writing. Maybe I need to change that dream to a week spent in the middle of Times Square or something!

Until then, I'll be at the coffee shop. I'll be that girl setting in the corner, a cup of coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, somehow comforted and spurred on by the chaos and noise around me.

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