It happened much faster than I had expected. Took just three days, actually. That it happened was no surprise. No. The surprise was in how quickly withdrawal set in. Withdrawal from working? Hardly. I’m talking about withdrawal from regularly participating in a creative and collaborative environment. Luckily I have plenty of projects with which to keep busy (this web site being one of them), but right away I knew that I wouldn’t be able to write/work in the seclusion of my one-bedroom apartment. Aside from the fact that I wouldn’t see another human all day, Sydney, my adorable tuxedo cat (as much as I love her), is an absolute pest. When I’m at the computer, she has to be on my lap with her head between my hands. If she’s not doing that, she’s walking all over my desk, across the keyboard and back. Try typing and keeping a flow going with that kind of distraction!
Armed with this knowledge about myself, I resolved to work in one of my two choice coffee shops located within walking distance of my apartment in Midtown Sacramento: The Naked Lounge or Java City. The place that I end up on any given day depends entirely on my mood. Naked Lounge equals creative; I need stimulation. Java City equals professional; I need to be productive. Both places have coffee (a given) and free wifi (I do have to confess that I prefer the coffee at Naked Lounge) – what more could a graduate-creative-writing-student-slash-freelancer ask for, right? People, of course. Good thing both of these fine establishments have a decent flow of folks throughout the day. And when I say throughout the day, I mean the whole day – I’ve been known to haunt one of these locations from 8 a.m. until 6 or 7 p.m.
Alas, even with the aforementioned decent flow of folks, there is still one thing that I don’t get from either one of these fine establishments: interaction. More specifically, collaboration and creative exchange. (More on that to come.) And so I’ve found myself struggling with working in isolation. Sometimes I go for an entire day without having a conversation with any other human being. And this is a huge problem for someone like myself, who happens to be an extreme extrovert. What is a girl to do?