Making a living as a writer means spending a lot of time by yourself in front of a computer. Some days, this is awesome, as you can distract yourself with email, Twitter and Internet surfing. Other days, it’s bad because you realize you’ve become utterly depended upon said emails, Twitter and ‘net surfing. Those are also the days when I find myself depressed because my inbox is empty or because all the posts on the Previously.TV message forums disagree with my feelings regarding certain story lines. (Look, I never said I was proud – or normal.)
In the old days, when I worked in the “real” world, there were co-workers I could visit when I got antsy. Sadly, my dog isn’t quite as good a distraction.
Luckily for me, my good friend, Harlequin author Cathryn Parry, came to a similar conclusion, and so last fall we began an experiment. Once a week, we clock in at our “outside” office. This is a mutually-agreed upon location where we sit and work at nearby tables. The idea is to recreate the cubicle environment. The only exceptions are when a deadline is pressing down or when the weather is bad. (Neither of us feel like driving in snow.)
How did the experiment go? Pretty good, until massive deadlines forced us to stop for a few weeks. We’re looking forward to starting again. I’m even open to other writers joining us. It’s refreshing to get out, be dressed semi-professionally and talk to someone. Plus, we actually work.
And I get a little less dependent on email – which is a very good thing.