As much as I am a laid back and spontaneous person, I have a lot of rules. Not for other people, but for myself. Some of my former co-workers even call me “Rules” for a nickname.
My rules weren’t things that effected other people and I always thought they made life easier for me. I don’t care about white after Labor Day, but you won’t catch me leaving dishes in the sink or wearing shoes inside the house.
Some of my biggest rules were about writing.
I only write at home, in my own space. I take the time to set up a writing area, whether it’s a whole room or a corner, so why wouldn’t I use it?
I write with music on, but no words in English or Spanish. That would be too distracting.
And I don’t like distractions. Especially the distraction of people.
But, now I’m staying with friends. I don’t have any space that is actually mine. I thought it would be short term, and maybe I just wouldn’t write that week.
After a few days, though, I couldn’t go without writing.
I packed up my computer and my headphones and went to the neighborhood Starbucks. Even though I always rolled my eyes when people told me about writing in coffee shops, I decided it was worth a try.
My friend has two kids and a husband, so quiet time doesn’t really happen. It was writing in public or not writing.
So I ordered a latte, turned on my computer, and put on my headphones.
And something funny happened.
Once those headphones were on and I heard my writing music, it was like the rest of the people disappeared. I wasn’t at Starbucks. I was back in my story. It didn’t matter who or what was around me, I was writing.
After a week or so of writing outside of the house, I started to worry about how much money I was spending on coffee. It was time to try writing at my friend’s house. If I could write in the middle of a busy coffee shop, I should be able to write in a house with only four other people.
I made some coffee, went in my room, put on my headphones and wrote. I didn’t hear the kids or the TV. I didn’t even hear my friend’s husband when he was jumping up and down about his new signed hockey card.
I was so involved in the writing, I could’ve been anywhere. I broke my own rule. I could write anywhere.
That makes me wonder about what other rules I might not need.
There might even be some dishes in the sink when I’m living on my own again. Because some rules were meant to be broken.
Do you have rules for yourself that other people don’t get? Or are you a rule breaker? Do rules make things easier or harder? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in my rule making!