After reading the discussion on productive writing strategies over at Bitch PhD a while ago, I decided to try out an approach that lots of people have suggested: the lurk-in-a-café-until-I-get-something-done strategy.
So this afternoon I packed my laptop and a few indispensable reference sources and headed into Starbucks to see what I could get written. And then, y'know, because I'm so thoughtful and all, I thought I'd report back my experience for my multitude of reader (that's you, Axis of Peter).
- Conveniently close to home, and free parking on Sundays
- Endless supplies of yummy drinks (if I had endless supplies of money and endless bladder capacity -- see point #3 under "cons")
- No internet distractions. Not at the prices they charge for access.
- Free cake samples!
- They didn't kick me out or glare even a little bit, despite the fact I sat there for four hours nursing one cup of coffee
- Loud, distracting music. I'm one of those people who work best to the melodious strains of silence.
- No air conditioning. But then my office doesn't have any either.
- No working toilet. This at least limited the damage done to my wallet -- no way was I having more than one coffee without a loo in reach.
- I kept getting distracted by all the rows of pretty cakes
In summary, it greatly increased my Sunday afternoon productivity (from none at all to completing a thesis section). I think it's worth developing into a habit, and maybe on the weekends when I'm not feeling pressured to work on the thesis, my attempts at novelling (and/or myriad unfinished computer programs) could benefit from the same approach.
So yay for that.