Home Away From Home

The 2K11 24/7 LXXXVII

Last updated on April 2nd, 2021 at 12:18 pm

I think I finally understand where the stereotype of the writer working away on a manuscript in a coffee shop comes from.

IT’S HARD TO WRITE AT HOME.

Bloggers with kids? I don’t know how you do it.

Professional writers? I don’t know how you do it.

Bloggers with kids who live in rural areas off of a dial-up connection and no coffee shop anywhere in sight? You are magical, magical beings.

Seriously, though—writing at home is a disaster waiting to happen—it’s just one distraction after another!

And the worst part?

ALL OF THEM ARE SELF-GENERATED!!!

I had a teacher when I was younger named Mrs. Geh. I can honestly say that she’s a stupendous woman and taught me a lot about how I could approach the world around me. One of her FAVOURITE acronyms was

YARFY—You Are Responsible for Yourself

So I’m not going to go transferring the blame onto anyone else for my distractions. And those distractions come in MANY forms.

Some examples:

  • If I keep at a task for too long, I might get sleepy—so what do I do? Go to work while lying down to relax. Yeah. Smart move. Doesn’t take too long for working supine to become a nap sublime…
  • We tend to see a lot of the things we keep in our homes as one long to-do list. So when you’re trying to work away on your writing, your head’s constantly swerving in other directions, looking at the things you promised yourself that you’d do, but never got around to dealing with. Productive!
  • Your stuff is in your house, both good and bad. You have all the tools you use to create content (e.g. computer, pens and pads, reference materials), but you also have your CDs and DVDs, video games, food… essentially, without discipline, your house is pretty much designed to work against your focus.

So what does one do? This post is going to be all about the easier route—avoiding the problem. If you can’t get work done at home, you’re going to have to establish somewhere else where your ideas will flow freely and you’ll do what it is that you’re supposed to do!

University and college campuses are always awesome for this since they’re basically meant to have just about every possible area as a congregation space, but if that’s not your style (especially if you’re not in university anymore, and if you’re still creeping around as a much older adult—LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE), try one of these:

Places to get away from distractions

Coffee shop

Toronto’s catching up with the world in that we’re finally getting Wi-Fi in our coffee shops as more of the norm. If you need to be somewhere where it’s customary to hang around and do your work but you won’t have to deal with most of the distractions of home living, this might be option #1

Library

Yes, libraries still exist. They’re way more diverse than they would have been a couple of decades ago, and still provide ample space for you to get into the zone. They can be calm, relaxing and serene—mostly because they still want you to be quiet while working there. The nerve!

Food courts in unpopular shopping centres

These are awesome because no one ACTUALLY wants to shop there. You avoid mallrats, hurried parents and anyone who would usually be causing a loud ruckus, because, in all honesty, they have better malls to be shopping at. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a table, and the food likely won’t distract you—none of it’s all that good, anyway. This spot will be even better when it’s NOT lunchtime.

Any area that is densely populated by commuters working 9–5 Monday to Friday at a time that isn’t 9–5 on Monday through Friday

I really don’t think that this needs any explanation.

You’ll notice that I haven’t included any outdoor locales on this list. You might also notice that it’s March and I live in Toronto. Hanging out outside is SO three months from now.

So find your quiet place. Get your work done. Ideally, it’ll be where you live; but if it’s not—it’s a big world out there. Go find your place.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

By Casey E. Palmer

Husband. Father. Storyteller.

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey Palmer the Canadian Dad spend his free time in pursuit of the greatest content possible.

Thousand-word blog posts? Snapshots from life? Sketches and podcasts and more—he's more than just a dad blogger; he's working to change what's expected of the parenting creators of the world.

It's about so much more than just our kids.

When Casey's not creating, he's busy parenting, adventuring, trying to be a good husband and making the most of his life!

Casey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

2 replies on “Home Away From Home”

Finding premium space to write is scarce in the dot. Almost all the coffee shops are rammed, you have to go pretty far out from the core to find anything decent and even then the hipsters beat you to it 😛

I love the library to get writing done. It’s quiet and everyone appears to be busy working so you too also appear to be working and voila work is complete!

Food courts are too smelly for my liking :S

I can’t wait until summer there are so many awesome outdoor spaces to get work done!

Yeah, that’s true. We’re overpopulated, isolated and seeking refuge from the elements. The high rents rendered much of the space here to residential from those who want to foot the bill for tiny boxes in the downtown core, but alas.

Summer’s around the corner!

But how big is this corner 🙁 ?

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