"Why I Could Never Write In Public"
By Olivia Parker

See that industrious young woman sitting in the corner of the coffee shop, typing away on her laptop? Her small-rimmed glasses have slid down her blade of a nose, but she doesn’t bother to push them back up into place--she’s too engrossed in the scene she’s creating.

She never says a word but, every once and awhile, she pauses, the corner of her lips curving upward, her eyes alive with approval, as she stares down at the glowing screen awash with her marvelous prose. Do you see her? Do you know who she is?

Well, it’s not me, that’s for sure.

I’m at the register, lifting the frozen coffee confection an apron clad young man has slid across the counter to me. After thanking him, I make my exit, throwing an envious glance at the blessedly absorbed writer before I leave.

I’m heading back to my beloved cave to write. Home--where I can freely alternate from acting out my scenes, lounging in embarrassing positions in my computer chair, or reading my dialogue aloud in terribly fake English accents that sound nothing like the voices inside my head. I’m safe here--well, at least safe from the men in white coats who would like to show me to my new home with padded walls and cool jackets with lots of fun zippers and chains.

Because I’m this sort of writer (I know I’m not the only one), I avoid coffee shops, libraries, and sitting by fountains in public parks. They are all perfectly lovely places. Just not for me. However, sometimes I wish I was that highly-focused, quiet writer, happily creating amid a hundred or so distractions.

My second book, TO WED A WICKED EARL, a light-hearted Regency-set historical, was written entirely in private, which is something I thank the stars above for each time I remember writing the scene where Charlotte surprised me by daring to kiss a blind-folded scoundrel and I slid out of my chair.


Blogger J Perry Stone said:

I've been waiting for this book, Olivia. I adored your first.

And I understand your attachment to your cave. You're merely considering other people. But there is *another* sort of coffee shop writer, one vastly different than the one you describe.

This public writer cackles when she writes a saucy scene. Mumbles through her dialogue. Even brays when she thinks she's being clever.

It's hysterical to watch because as soon as she enters the coffee shop, all the other customers promptly break out the neon-colored earplugs.

And they look at her as though she’s an inch away from public urination.

By the way, I really hate it when they do that. ;)

10:55 AM  

Blogger Natalie Murphy said:

Don't feel alone Olivia - I write that way too! Unfortunately my parents HAVE come across me lounging in the most embarrassing positions as I write. Thankfully they understand me. I hope.

Anyway, I have To Wed a Wicked Earl in my lap right now! I've been looking forward to this book since the last one came out!!!

12:36 PM  

Blogger Vicki said:

And here I thought at the beginning you were one of those lovely writers who I will never become. I'm always acting out scene's, walking around my office to figure out things and talking out loud. The few times I thought I could be that 'other writer' I always end up leaving with my cheeks burning hot because before you know it, I'm running my hand through my hair or saying lines a bit louder than the whisper I intended.

Great post and I can't wait to read the book. :)

4:41 PM  

Blogger Olivia Parker said:

Hi J Perry Stone! Your post made me laugh. :)

I just don't know how anyone can concentrate in public, writing or really any sort of work. I did try the library once. Once. After taking a trip upstairs, where it's usually quiet, and finding that about 25 other people had the same idea, I ended up in a corner downstairs. I had no idea why no one else discovered this little spot until I spied all the spider webs above my head, no outlet, and a phone (a phone!) on the wall behind me. Can I pick the spots or what? LOL!

8:38 PM  

Blogger Olivia Parker said:

Hello fellow awkward-lounging-postion writer! :) That's great that they understand you, Natalie. :) Now if only I could get my husband to understand that I need a new computer chair (too much lounging has ripped the seams) and that Fantasy football does not take precedence over trying to finish a book.

8:45 PM  

Blogger Olivia Parker said:

I pace in my "office" too, Vicki. Or use the treadmill downstairs. A very smart writer I know told me that it is a case of right brain/left brain activity that helps us figure things out. :)

9:05 PM  

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