Here in this small town where I live, we have one Starbucks. When I lived in Hawaii, there was an SB on every corner. I could easily get to one without much effort, and I did perform the SB experiment there: could I write more if I were in SB, without internet connection (because I won’t pay for day surfing)? The answer in Hawaii was yes.

And I guess my blonde self didn’t quite internalize the facts. Because, just yesterday, I performed the experiment again. After such a sucky Monday, I thought I’d try something different. When facing a problem with the WIP, it’s veerrry easy to say, “I’ll just click over to email or Facebook, etc, while I think about this.” An hour later you realize you’ve forgotten the problem and you’ve been checking out Parsons chairs at Target.com for twenty minutes.

So, after lunch with a friend, I headed for SB. I’d forgotten my iPod, which almost made me decide against the experiment, but I gave it a try anyway.

And I got work done. Duh. When you HAVE to stare at the WIP, and you can’t click over to Target, your brain tends to work on the problem. I made it through one of the roughest patches of the story thus far — and though I actually lost closer to 3K words on Monday (didn’t realize it until I counted it up yesterday), I made up a lot of ground. I wrote 2K sitting in SB, without an iPod, while at least one little girl threw a huge mini-diva tantrum (seriously, foot stamping and hollering that it wasn’t fair and she wouldn’t eat it, etc, and all because her dad bought her a different cookie than the one she wanted).

I may have to go back to Starbucks a lot before this book is due. I wonder if the IRS will accept latte deductions?

Does the Starbucks Effect work for you? Or do you have the discipline to shut off the internet access at home? I wonder if telecommuters have these issues. What do you think? I bet they get a certain amount done because they’d obviously get fired if they didn’t — but do you think they check out websites more often than they would in an office? Hmm….