Have Laptop, Will Travel

~ By Tanya Agler 

My son climbed into my minivan today, sniffed, and commented on how much the car smelled like Starbucks. I shrugged and told him that was where I wrote this morning. I’ve read with envy about writers who describe the closets they’ve converted to a great writing space. I’ve listened with envy to writers who talk about their children who know blood better be spouting out of multiple body parts if they disturb the parent who is wearing his or her writing hat. I’ve sighed with envy at writers who describe their writing space as located in their own house. My household consists of one husband, one rabbit, one Basset hound, one teenaged daughter, one tween son, and preschool twins. Whenever possible, I pile my copy of The Emotional Thesaurus, the latest RWR magazine, my binder with special craft class tips, my Kindle, my laptop charger, and my laptop into my trusty backpack and run to the car to go writing. In my case, my motto is “have laptop, will travel.”

Local libraries. I always know the hours and locations of several branches. Not only do they often provide a quiet writing place, but if it’s my county branch, I can also check out books and audiobooks. The people are usually respectful and quiet, and there are always several outlets on the floor. At the library I often frequent on Sunday afternoons, the librarians often wave and warn me before they use the laminate machine. It’s a great place to write, and knowing other writers persevered until they were published often provides a great push for me.

coffeeRestaurants and coffeehouses. After I drop off my twins at preschool, the easiest thing for me to do is head to the nearby Panera for a couple of hours of solid writing. Bagels, a quiet atmosphere, and caffeine guide me through two whole hours of plotting, writing or editing. For me, not having the laundry nearby reminding me of its need to get folded or having a dishwasher calling out to empty and reload it is well worth a couple of dollars.

My local library also closes relatively early. If my husband comes home early enough where I can get a couple of hours of writing done in the evening, it’s off to Starbucks. I’ve tried writing at home at night. A stuffed animal invariably needs a bandage or a kiss. A board game needs an extra player. I have a hard time saying no to those requests. When my husband is working, I make sure I “babysit” the stuffed animals so my five-year-old daughter can go to work. I make sure I play a game of Life. I take time to listen to a story about school while I’m folding laundry. But when my husband is off, I usually head out to write, knowing my children are forming a strong bond with their father and knowing they are seeing their mom trying to turn her dream into reality.

This fall, my life will be undergoing changes. For the first time, all of my children will be in school for a full day. No longer will I drive ten miles each way to take my two youngest to preschool. For the first time, I’ll have the whole day to write. Between you and me, I’ll probably still end up sneaking to Panera every once in a while.

Have laptop, will travel.

Do you write in one place or do you write in a variety of places like I do? Do you write at one specific time of day or does it vary depending on your schedule? I’d love to hear from you.

Tanya Agler is a write-at-home mom who is often found at her local library, Starbucks or Panera. As yet unpublished, she is a member of RWA, CRW and Georgia Romance Writers. Her agent is Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She has been a finalist in several chapter contests (2014 Maggie Contest, 2014 and 2015 Marlene Contest among others). You can friend her on Facebook (Tanya Agler) or follow her on Twitter (@TanyaAgler). Her blog is tanyaagler.wordpress.com. She will be attending RWA 2015 in July and would love to hear all about your writing space and routine. 

1 thought on “Have Laptop, Will Travel”

  1. I’m one of those who’s blessed with a comfortable home office and few interruptions. That said, I’m currently at Mama’s house in California, helping her with appointments due to her recent illness. Mama’s a talker, and getting some alone time to write is a challenge, but she’s trying to indulge me. Writing in a public space is hard for my squirrel brain, but editing a paper copy can work. I wish you happy writing in September.

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