Ask anyone who writes for a living and they’ll tell you the best part is when they just write.

Just writing excludes the research that precedes it and the polishing that follows.

writing advice: stay away from the cafeI’ve already thought things through–what I want to say, how I’m going to say it and who I’d most like to connect with. Sometimes I paste some research into the document. But I find that I’m much freer and more likely to focus on what’s important when I write from memory.

I write quickly, noting what I need to check or insert later. I don’t pause to second guess myself or fix mistakes. I let it flow.

During this enthralling time, I do not try to multitask. I turn off my email and Tweetdeck.

Although I don’t have the interruptions of a corporate office, I do have to discipline myself to ignore my dog barking at passersby and the real estate agents, Jehovah’s witnesses, energy plan hawkers and others who dare knock at the door.

I do not listen to music, unless I need to drown the sound of rowdy birds early in the morning or the chain saw cacophony of renovating neighbors.

I answer the phone only if call display tells me it’s important. If it’s a client I need to talk to or an urgent personal call, I’ll talk, then give myself a few minutes to refocus.

I know I can’t just write in Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. This coffee writing myth was invented by Jean-Paul Sartre and the existential punks who spent time writing in the Cafe de Flore on the Left Bank.

Tres chic. But I’m sure they wrote their best stuff in their garrets. In the cafes, they were trying to look cool and meet women. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or plus ca change, as Jean-Paul would say.

I can imagine Jean-Paul tweeting some bons mots while sipping a cappucino, but I cannot see him contemplating nothingness amid all that distraction.

I don’t need the companionship of a coffee shop because I’m having a pretend conversation with the person I’d most love to connect with. Often he’s wealthy, handsome, compassionate and interested in many of the same things as me. After all, it is my fantasy.

But even at times like today, when I’m talking to somebody suffering from arthritis, it’s a pleasant conversation because we both know I’m there to help.

I love to just write. What about you?

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