The Write Place Place #9: Misa Sugiura

misasugiura_authorphotoI write for two or three hours a day on weekdays, usually at one of two places: home, or at my local coffee shop (okay, it’s a Starbucks). I don’t have a desk at home, but I do have a nice view from the kitchen/dining room table. If I’m not working at home, you’ll often find me curled up in one of the leather armchairs at the, uh, coffee shop, a short nonfat chai latte by my side.When I’m writing hot—maybe I’ve got a great scene going, or maybe I’m waist-deep in revisions—I can write anywhere, and the decision to stay at home or go to Starbucks is purely arbitrary. But as every writer discovers sooner or later, we aren’t always on fire with great ideas. I’ve found that on my slow, lukewarm writing days, my writing environment matters.

On days when I’m feeling blocked, or if I’m having plot or character problems, I need plenty of space and privacy to perform my repertoire of breakthrough tricks. Sometimes I take a quick half-mile stroll around my neighborhood. Sometimes I act out a scene so I can “feel” where it should go next. And when I do get a good idea, I get so excited that I can’t sit still—I have to get up and pace and talk to myself between frantic note-writing bursts. So, yeah. On those days, I stay at home. Other days, I know what has to go on the page, but I’m just not feeling it. That’s when I head to Starbucks—I mean, the coffee shop. When I’m there, I can’t get up and goof off between paragraphs. I can’t wander into the kitchen for a handful of chocolate chips. And I’m such a cheapskate that if I pay for an overpriced drink, I feel obligated to get my money’s worth of chair time to go with it. That guarantees a solid hour of work, or maybe even two solid hours.

dining-roomstarbucks

Other days, I know what has to go on the page, but I’m just not feeling it. That’s when I head to Starbucks—I mean, the coffee shop. When I’m there, I can’t get up and goof off between paragraphs. I can’t wander into the kitchen for a handful of chocolate chips. And I’m such a cheapskate that if I pay for an overpriced drink, I feel obligated to get my money’s worth of chair time to go with it. That guarantees a solid hour of work, or maybe even two solid hours.

Maybe one day when I write the novel that becomes a runaway bestseller and a blockbuster movie, I’ll build myself one of those cozy writing nooks with a dedicated writing desk and inspiration boards and shelves full of source material. Until then, I’m glad I’ve got my dining room table and my coffee shop armchair.

 

inliascoverhccatalog-1Misa Sugiura is the author of It’s Not Like It’s A Secret (HarperTeen, May 9, 2017). She lives under a giant oak tree in California with her husband, two sons, two cats, and a gray-banded king snake. For more information, visit her at misasugiura.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram (@misallaneous1).

Find It’s Not Like It’s a Secret on Goodreads and Amazon.

 

 

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