Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I Need Quiet {SOL 4-26-16}

Julia Cameron, author of one of my favorite books, The Right to Write, has written much about the power of Artist's Dates, a field trip away from home to be at one with your creative self.

On Saturday morning, I took myself on an Artist Date to the local Panera to enjoy a change of scenery for my writing time.

I ordered my lemonade and a cinnamon crunch bagel, found a quiet table in the corner, and began writing.

About 20 minutes later, I noticed an older gentleman take a seat at the table behind me.  I looked around the restaurant.  There were lots of other tables he could have picked, I thought to myself, but I went back to my typing.

After getting situated, the man took out his cell phone, brought up Monty Python episodes, and began to watch.

Without headphones. 

With the volume cranked up loud enough for half the room to hear. 

I gave an irritated glance over my shoulder, hoping the man would get the hint and turn the volume down.

He didn't.

Several more irritated looks, but still no compliance to the common courtesies of watching videos on your phone in a public place.

I stopped typing and just sat.  I couldn't concentrate.  All I could hear was fake laugh tracks and British guys yakking in the background.

I searched my bag for MY headphones.

Unfortunately, they were still at home, which was where I was now headed.


  1. Such a bummer that your writing session was disturbed. It sounded like a delightful trip until then. Better luck next time!

  2. You should have said something to the manager when you left. Not anything mean, but just to let them know that the other person's behavior was disruptive. In my experience, Starbucks is always noisy; Panera never is.

  3. That's irritating when you're trying to write. I feel your pain. It's too bad he didn't get the hint.

  4. That's irritating when you're trying to write. I feel your pain. It's too bad he didn't get the hint.

  5. You've made me remember when I went to a movie once on an afternoon. The theater was nearly empty, and people who came in sat so near me. I didn't understand why they chose those seats instead of many others. I guess you could have moved far, far away? Such a thoughtless person, sorry for your loss, Jennifer!

  6. I always keep headphones in my purse now. I use them all the time without music to just block noise - on airplanes, in airports, coffee shops... you name it. I don't need silence, but I can't help but tune into conversations. Maybe I'm nosy... at least you got your bagel! Better luck next week.

  7. grrr! I don't think I would have been so quiet as you were. Perhaps you will be able to use this experience in your writing somewhere? There is always hope for some good to come out of a nasty experience.

  8. What a disappointment! Of all the seats available he takes one next to you where he clearly knew you were working. ☹️


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