There is a fine pleasure in setting up everything just right for a morning of writing.
• A quiet room.
• A comfortable chair.
• An open schedule.
• The phone turned off.
• The email hidden.
• A time zone 5 or 6 hours earlier than that of my colleagues.
Free of interruptions, the only limiting factor is my capacity to generate ideas. I inhabited this world for five mornings in a Seville apartment. It works. It works well.
• At the moment I am in an alternate context of an airport lounge in Heathrow airport.
• Lots of background noise: conversations, announcements, dishes clattering.
• A fixed schedule: the plane is flying soon.
• Needing to attend to some announcements and schedule boards.
• People passing by on all sides.
Although I certainly prefer the Seville apartment, I can write in Heathrow airport as well. Doing so requires channeling my attention. To some extent this is a mental focus of attention. I help that process along by playing undemanding instrumental new age music through my earbuds, softening the impact of the world’s distractions.
Despite its greater challenges, working in more chaotic surroundings has its advantages. The closer contact with the larger world shifts one from the refined concerns of one’s bubble to a broader context. Here I am writing about the larger context. It just happens to be on my mind at the moment.