Every writer I know has a different approach to how to get the job done. What that tells me is what everyone already knows; writers are the very definition of individual. I see no reason to pursue the notion that “eccentric” and “individual” suggest a common basis. Anyway, as Ellen DeGeneris says, I need some signs of life around me while I work. I never tried the coffee-shop gig. Between drinking and un-drinking (if you will), I don’t see how I’d get much done. And I need a window so I can see outside. Without looking outside at least occasionally, how can you be sure you haven’t actually created a world? And you’re actually living in it? Think about that for a while. And then there’s sound. That coffee shop’s going to explode from time to time. That guy with the wheezing laugh that sounds like bad comedy Heimlich time. Or the lady on the cell with the schmuck boyfriend. Yeah, her – the one who deserves it. What could be more disruptive?
Enter Pandora. Not only do I get great white noise to blot out my dog barking or the neighbor’s leaf blower, chain saw, lawnmower, hedge trimmer, patio-block saw (If it plugs in or burns gasoline, my neighbor has one. Maybe two.). Pandora brings me artists who aren’t that readily available. I speak, of course, of R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders. Or the inimitable Leon Redbone. And where else can you expect to catch Snooks Eglin wailing St. James Infirmary Blues? Or what about Pink Anderson? “…got a house full of chillun ain’t none of ’em mine” If that can’t spur you to tales of pathos and woe, what’s it take? Ah, but the instrumentalists, who totally blot out everything but rhythm, syncopation, melody. Maybe they won’t always contribute to mood, but they’ll sure hold out anything that might intrude on the one you’ve created. As I said, we’re all different – perhaps in more telling ways than we’ll admit – and ain’t it grand?