Over the past several months I’ve been toting my laptop out to the Borders and working there. It’s been a big win for me, productivity-wise. I don’t get distracted by the chores that need doing around the house. There’s no refrigerator to poke around in. And I’m about 100% less likely to curl up in a blanket, settle my computer in my lap, and drop off to sleep.
Problem is, the productivity bump is starting to taper off. Partly it’s that the novelty of the bookstore has worn off; partly it’s that I’ve discovered I can leech free wifi off the Applebee’s next door. I suppose I could consider moving down the street to the Barnes & Noble, where there’s no free wifi. But that would mean giving up Borders’ sweet hot chocolate with a ridiculous amount of crap on top for B & N’s slightly bitter hot chocolate with next to nothing on top. Bummer.
It would also mean giving up the relationships I’ve been cultivating with the Borders staff. These relationships aren’t exactly a linchpin of my social network, but they allow me to engage in some brief small talk when I hit a lull in my work, and to “rent” my café space on the cheap: I only buy drinks when I’m thirsty, instead of feeling obligated to pay into the coffers each time I visit.
I cultivated these relationships quite deliberately, mostly just by being nice, and by over-ordering slightly in the initial weeks, especially when the manager was in. After a few days, everybody working there knew my name, and now I think I’ve basically become their mascot, sort of a writer-in-residence. They ask me about the book, wish me luck, and when I come back after a few days’ absence, they tell me anecdotes about what I missed. I think I can count on being a "Staff Pick" if any of these people are still working there when my book comes out. And they’re nice guys; they often brighten my day.
Long story short, I’d hate to give all that up. So, the question is, do I have it in me to refrain from logging on to the web? Or is this another distraction I need to eliminate in my life, the same way I eliminated my household distractions by heading out to Borders in the first place?