Have Laptop, Will Travel
There are some definite perks to being a full time author. One is that you can work from anywhere. However, while the thought of working from the beach may sound appealing, truth is, sand, salt water and glare are not friends with electronics.
Most authors I know end up working from small, dedicated spaces in their homes. I tried that for awhile. But there were always distractions – excuses for ‘creative avoidance’. Plus, after a day or two, I'd get cabin fever. Too many years of working in an office environment, I guess. I need to be around people, even when working on a solitary task such as writing.
So what's a guy with a laptop to do? You see some people trying to work at their neighborhood coffee shop. Starbucks has always offered free Wi-Fi to its customers, and plenty of people do camp there, for hours on end, ‘working’.
Several things about the coffee shop venue have never appealed to me, though. First, I always feel like an animal in a zoo, right out there on display. It's not the cozy sort of environment I find stimulating. Second, there are the other patrons. They run the gamut from young professionals to stay-at-home-moms with babies in strollers. Sometimes the din is just distracting. At other times, it’s downright annoying. My biggest worry is that some dirt bag will swipe my gear during a head call.
Then one day, I took my computer to a neighborhood cigar bar. Ah... There, I discovered all the ingredients I needed to be productive – a cozy atmosphere, free Wi-Fi, power outlets, adults, beverages and yes, cigars! Who wouldn't be more creative in this setting?
I've since found welcoming cigar bars in every city I’ve regularly visited, whether it's been Seattle, Scottsdale or Las Vegas – just about everywhere! I don't have to ‘drink’ if I’m on the clock – a club soda, soft drink or coffee is always an available option. The televisions are typically on, but muted. I can watch, or not, as I like. The furniture is comfy too. If I'm writing, I'll typically take a spot at the bar. If I'm reading, doing research or other related tasks, the big easy chairs are my preference.
If you've never thought about your favorite cigar bar as an alternative to your home office, you may want to check it out. No matter what you do for a living, if you do it on the computer, you can do it from a cigar lounge!
I've sold more than a few books to regulars who ask me, “I see you working in here a lot. What do you do?” So yes, you can do business too. And guaranteed, you will have a lot in common with those customers! It’s also comforting that people know me and will watch my gear when I step out to ‘powder my nose’.
So the next time you go into a cigar bar and see a guy with a laptop at the end of the counter lighting up a Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary stick, come up and say, “Hello.” It's probably me!
Necessary gear: A ‘keyboard duster’, AKA a good quality paint brush.
John Murphy is the author of Mission Veritas, a new Sci-Fi action adventure novel available at Amazon.