I've given myself a deadline to finish my latest novel in May.
I have a two-week break from my daytime teaching job, so I figure that I have no excuse. Even if I take time to workout in the morning and keep the house running with cooking, laundry and cleaning, I should have plenty of time to write.
If I don't buckle down and write, then I need to find a full-time job and stop calling myself a writer.
One of my most prolific and happy times as a writer was when I would go to Caribou Coffee to write.
Since Caribou Coffee closed, I haven't regularly settled on a place to write, other than at home.
Home is full of distractions, my children come and go. They ask for help with things or wonder if I have time to make them coffee before they run out to work or class.
The cats beg for attention; the pile of laundry demands equal devotion. A dust bunny blowing across the floor hints at other tasks that need doing.
At Caribou, which closed in 2012, I'd listen to music, sip my mocha and write.
The coffee shop had high ceilings with duct work visible. Wood or concrete floors and cozy nooks, along with warm lighting all made Caribou a welcoming place to work.
Often, if I was there in the morning, I'd buy a pastry. It had a cream cheese filling and the pastry was flaky with large granules of sugar on top. Yum.
Just recently, I brought home some pastries from the grocery store. The inside was cherry, but the outside was that flaky crust with large granules of sugar. Just like the pastry that inspired me at Caribou.
Suddenly, I knew that if I could eat one of those pastries in the morning, I could write!
That first day, I put away the remaining pastries so one would be there in the morning for my writing.
When Spencer came in from a friend's house that night, I heard the cabinet doors opening and closing as he searched for his post-midnight snack.
The next morning, no pastries remained.
So I went for a run then, still sweaty, went to the grocery and bought a box of four more pastries.
As I ate one, I wrote.
Things were going well; I figured I'd follow the same plan the next morning. But when I got home from work that night, the pastries were gone again.
This morning before I went to the gym, I stopped at the grocery and bought another box of pastries, so that when I got home, I could do some writing. Since Spencer is still in bed (almost noon) the pastries remained, and I was able to eat one and made some good progress on my writing again.
Once Spencer is out of the house (he's going back to college for summer classes next week), I'm sure I'll be able to to keep pastries here and write each morning.
I may gain 20 pounds, but dammit I'm going to finish that book by the end of May.
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