Monday, October 28, 2013

Writing, setting, and embarassment--an informal survey

A couple weeks ago, I flew to see family. Determined to get some writing done, I packed prepared--laptop, notebook, and pen in my carry-on.

But as I sat in the terminal, ready to finish a steamy scene, prickles crawled up my neck. What if some child started looking over my shoulder? Hell, what if some adult did? I don't think I could bear the embarrassment of the wrong person reading something too hot for them to handle.

I quickly realized that if I couldn't write in the terminal, there was no freakin' way I'd be able to write on the plane. Between zero elbow room and even less privacy, my BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) plan was smashed. Nothing kills the mood like unwanted voyeurs.

Instead, I brainstormed. Yes, I "rested my eyes" while I did this, but some of my best ideas come in that liminal space between waking and sleeping. And with my pen and composition book handy, I even managed to capture some of the thoughts!

So, fearless fellow writers...do you brave through the potential onlookers and write wherever and whenever you can? Do you invest in a privacy screen, or fly fancy-pants first class for some alone time with your WIP?

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I don't worry about people seeing my words. Pictures are another story. I'm careful about posting on FB in a public place in case some kid sees a half-naked hunk photo. ;-) But I think it's actually kind of hard to read someone else's computer screen, and most people are so plugged into their own gadgets that they couldn't care less what I'm doing. But maybe I'm living in a bubble of denial.

Kelly Jamieson said...

I just wrote on two flights and at first I was worried, but I don't think people can really read what I'm reading. And if they can...so what. I got a lot of words done on those flights!

Kate Davies said...

Planes or other situations where I'm surrounded by strangers? No problem. I'll never see them again. Public situations in our hometown - like soccer practice or swim team? No way in hell. I compromise by sitting in the car with the Surface while they're practicing. :)

Erin Nicholas said...

I'm exactly like Kate. I don't care if people I don't know read it... it's their fault for eaves-looking (hahaha, that should be a word) if they see something they don't like. Around town where people I know might look? Nope. (and they're definitely snoopier! :))