Posted by: steveonfilm | February 27, 2011

Getting Out Of The House

I had a pretty productive weekend from a writing standpoint. I’ve about finished deep-diving the first half of my outline for ‘The Prey.’ It wasn’t an easy task, there were a lot of distractions, but I made some significant progress.

Sometimes I can really get into the writing groove while I’m at home. If it’s quiet, and my wife isn’t around, and I don’t have other things to do, I can get in a good hour or two and make some things happen. But if even one of those things are off, my productivity around the house can slow to a crawl.

It’s not that I’m not comfortable. It’s that I’ve just got three other beings in my house that don’t care that I’m writing. I love my wife to death, but she doesn’t care if I’m writing. She’ll still come up to talk. Ask me to let the dogs out. Want me to do this, or that. Yell at me to get something from across the house. And then there’s my dogs who if they’re not barking at any loud noise coming from outside, are constantly on patrol convinced someone is going to burst through the front window and attack at any moment. I’m lucky I don’t have any kids, or else that’d be another distraction on top of everything else I had to deal with.

Sometimes I can escape to the guest bedroom. It’s far enough away from our normal living space that I can kind of separate it from being part of our “home.” But most of the time if I need to get some serious writing done, I get out of the house. My wife might give me crap for “leaving her home all alone,” but I just need to leave.

I got a lot of work for the Cyberspace Open done at a local coffee house and at the gazebo in my neighborhood. I was lucky it’s been nice out these last two weekends. But I don’t think it would have mattered where I was, as long as I was out of the house. When I sit down to write away from the home, I feel like I’m working. I can concentrate. I’m not distracted. No one cares what I’m doing. In essence, I’m free, free to pretend this is what I do for a living.

The place I go to the most is a local coffee shop here in town. They serve great coffee, and the atmosphere is great. It’s quiet. A lot of people reading. And the hipster crowd usually stays away, which is fantastic. I guess if I lived in L.A. I’d be surrounded by other people working on scripts and whatnot too, but here in Atlanta I’ve yet to bump into anyone else writing scripts. Thus, when people walk by and see me writing they, A, don’t know what I’m doing, and B, could care less even if they did. There are no snarky looks or eyes rolling, “There’s another person working on their script.”

Getting out of the house to write is a good thing. If you’re having trouble getting into the writing groove, try going out in the backyard, weather permitting. Or maybe to a common area in your neighborhood. Somewhere that you can go to that allows you some quiet and the chance to relax. You’ll be surprised at how quickly that mental disconnect of being out of the house helps you focus and get into your writing.

Until next time, keep writing!



  1. Getting out of the house is great. Being around other people, particularly in a place with a din of indistinguishable voices helps me to focus. Your lucky about being ignored by the hipsters in ATL. In Seattle, hipsters feel free to act snarky about anyone who’s not wearing skinny jeans and a Cosby sweater.

    • Hipsters… if there is a more worthless sub-culture of people in America, I’m not aware of who they are.

  2. yah I totally know what you mean about needing to get out of the house to get any work done – my problem is more that I need to find someplace where it’s OK to take my dog.. he’s super chill and I don’t like leaving him at home. Right now it’s too cold to work outside at a coffee shop, though – in the summer it’ll be perfect.

    And yes, everyone in LA is working on a script – even at my company (software company) one of my coworkers recently chatted me and was like ‘omg so I heard you’re taking a screenwriting class? I just finished one!’ hah. 😛

    • Exactly. Trying to be a writer is almost cliche in L.A., whereas in other places you can pretty much go about your business without anyone noticing.

      I’d think the weather in L.A. would be warm enough right now for you to take your dog. It’s typically in the 60s now here in Atlanta, so my two dogs are fine outside. this weekend was just fantastic for us.

      What software company do yo work for? Any job openings for experienced business system analysts? 🙂

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