Writing Alone Together

Recently I discovered a powerful motivation for keeping my butt in the chair and getting the writing done. Purely by accident, too.

Writing alone together.

A good friend and co-blogger here at the PLC, Amy McLane, and I sat at a coffee shop to get some work done. Instead of discussing PLC related things, we worked individually on our own personal projects.

Now I know myself well and am a little ashamed to admit that I get lured by the interwebs more often than is good for a writer. I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be, but I haven’t rid myself of the problem either. So back to the coffee shop.

We were sitting at two separate small tables, respecting each other’s space when it hit me. The way I was positioned at my table, Amy had a clear view of my screen. She could easily tell if I was pounding out the words or losing time in the folds of Reddit. Simply put.

She would know.

Sure, Amy was there to work on her own stuff. Checking up on me never crossed her mind. I know because I asked her when we were leaving. And on a level, I knew too. But… but… what if?

This is where my paranoia worked for me. The time I spent on that writing session lasted longer than if I would have been left to my own devices, and it got me thinking. How can I recreate it?

I can’t recruit Amy to all of my free writing times. Asking random people at the coffee shop to occasionally look over your shoulder to make sure you’re working wouldn’t be well received, either.

I’m thinking about starting a small group to help keep each other in check while writing. Maybe something like a hashtag on Twitter, #writingsoastonotplayontheinternetandgetcaughtbythosewatching or #BIC (for Butt In Chair), with thirty minute check ins. I don’t know. Would it work? Would anybody be interested?

Interested or not, what helps you stay on track once you’re on the keyboard?