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LJ Chat, Day Three, post one November 20, 2011

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in author chat, Princes of Air.
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Originally posted 11/19/2011 at the Circlet Press Livejournal

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The other day when I was working at Starbucks, I referred to myself as “that kind of writer.” When I say that,  I’m goofing a little on John Scalzi, because in 2007, he put a book on writing out entitled You’re Not Fooling Anyone When you Take your Laptop to a Coffeeshop: Scalzi on Writing.  I freely admit that I haven’t read the book yet. My stack of writing books that everyone says I simply MUST read is about as tall as my son right now. I will read the whole thing eventually, and I do read his blog.

Here’s what he has to say (from 2004):

5. You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop, You Know.
I mean, Christ, people. All that tapping and leaning back  thoughtfully in your chair with a mug of whatever while you pretend to edit your latest masterpiece. You couldn’t be more obvious if you had a garish, flashing neon sign over your head that said “Looking For Sex.” Go home, why don’t you. Just go.

Admittedly if everyone followed my advice the entire economy of Park Slope would implode. But look, do you want to write, or do you want to get laid? No, don’t answer that. Anyway, if you really want to impress the hot whomevers, you’ll bring your bound galleys to the coffeeshop to edit. That’ll make the laptop tappers look like pathetic chumps. We’re talking hot  libidinous mammal sex for days.

Now, the difference between that writer and me? And why I joke about it? Is that when I go to the coffeeshop, I’m actually writing! Because there are times when the dust is building on the furniture, and the dishes are piling up in the sink, and there is ninety-million-and-one things that MUST be done around the house. But I need to get my words in first. So I take myself out of the house, go the five miles to the coffeeshop, and set myself up there.  I’m not looking for sex, like Mr. Scalzi’s example — I’m writing about it (which gives people who try to see what I’m doing an eyeful, I can tell you!)

Then, once I’ve got the words in, then I go home and do the chores. Everybody is happy.

So, yeah. I’m that kind of writer. I write in coffeeshops.

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