I also spent, and still spend, a significant period of time writing outside the house. I purchased a library card for a library outside my own county just so I’d have yet another space to write. A change of scenery and the ability to attend a whole slew of previously unavailable to me events was well worth the $50 price tag.
Even with my fancy new office (Hubby still gets brownie points for that!), my favorite place to write and work is my local Panera. Not only do they have free coffee refills, but they have outlets for my laptop, clean bathrooms, and other people doing the same thing as me. Working.
Sure…I always seem to end up seated next to a church group discussing a sermon while writing a double penetration menage scene, but since the last time that happened, I got some more visible ear buds, and can block out all the people praying for my soul.
I get more done at my local Panera than I do anywhere else. Something about that place gives me a guaranteed two thousand words plus if I’m writing a new draft, or brilliant ideas to fill in plot holes while editing. So I thought I’d share what I travel with when I head into my Panera and get to work. Like writing this blog post. Which I happen to be doing at Panera with a cup of hazelnut coffee in hand.
What’s in my traveling office?
1. My computer. Obviously, this is technically the only thing I need. It’s something to write on. But, I have also traveled with my Alphasmart, and even just a notebook and pen, if I have been getting bitten by the distraction monster that is social media.
Personally, I like having my computer, because if I get an idea or need to reply to an email or review a blurb for a friend, I don’t have to do it on my cell phone.
If I am putting in the effort to go out and spend my hard earned money, you’d better believe I am going to be productive. Even if my “plan” is a post-it stuck on my computer with a list of top 3 things to accomplish while out, I have a plan. I get more shit done when I know what to get started on once I get to wherever I’m going.
Because the vast majority of the devices I travel with use electricity, I keep a bag of battery packs, cables, and backup earbuds in my purse at all times.
This isn’t fancy. I got the pouch at Goodwill for a buck, and now I never run out of juice. Because all the people in Panera don’t necessarily understand I need access to an outlet, I have the ability to plug in my phone and ensure I can earbud up and listen to some background music no matter how much South Park Phone Destroyer I played that morning.
5. Extras. I don’t need anything aside from the four items above to work in my office, because the vast majority of what I’m working on or toward is digital. But there are occasionally things I add to this list and drag in with me.
My wireless mouse and keyboard help me on heavy writing trips.
My series bible/pink binder of awesome for whatever book I’m putting in brainstorm time with, or scene note cards will go with me if I’m trying to be my new organized self. (New Year, new me and all that shit.)
And if I’m doing a read through of a document I will have my printed manuscript and my Kindle Touch. My kindle reads my book out loud to me while I follow along and make notes in my paper copy.
All these extras are "sometimes" items. Which makes my planner and my task list for my traveling office even more important.