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  • Ananya Ridenour

A Writer's Coffee Shop Reflection

Just had to write something down about a reflection and thought I was having while I am sitting here at Starbucks, the same Starbucks where I handwrote the initial draft of Skipping Stones. And I'm sitting in the same spot too! My eyes glance over at the Skipping Stones bookmark that has become my go to bookmark for whatever current book I am reading. Next to the bookmark lies my phone, the case of which is a photo of the Skipping Stones cover (a great Christmas present from my husband). Reflecting on those years ago when I sat here and "stole" the time to write. And it paid off. Eventually, there was an end product and my first novel was published.


I'm thinking about how I "stole" that time but was it really stealing? At that time I had a lot going on but i made the effort and the commitment to go to Starbucks one day a week for an hour or two to just write. At the time it was so freeing from all the responsibilities that were going on. Looking at it now, I don't believe I stole that time but rather made the time. And I was committed to it. It became a routine and something that I looked forward to each week.


I still have responsibilities and am often very busy (I'm writing this while waiting for my daughter to finish her rehearsal for flute concert) but I found that I am not making the time to write as much as I did before. Am I still as committed as I was then?


Upon further reflection, I believe I am, however, it looks differently. It is no longer the dream of finishing my first novel but rather continuing onward with the dream and completing the multitude of projects that are already in progress.


Two books published and ten stories written, I now struggle with focus and consistency. I often hop from one project to the next without getting much further ahead on any of them. It's not only focus that hinders me but consistency as well. I am starting to re-focus in order to move a specific project forward but I find that I need to be more consistent. To make sure that I consistently "steal" these moments, or more accurately, to make the time to sit down and write. To commit to a project and focus on it until it's completion.


I have resumed meeting with my Panera crew (small band of writers who write together each week) which has helped. However, as I sit here and think of focus and consistency, I realize that I need to make more time for what feeds my soul. For what makes me smile.


If you are interested in reading my first published novel, Skipping Stones, please go to: https://www.ananyaandbrett.com/skipping-stones








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