Most of us in a creative field have one. It's that place you go to, to solve those problems you can't by sitting in front of your computer. An area that lets you clear your head of distraction and just think.... creatively. Let's call it the "Place of Zen" or even could be a "Chair of Awesome Thoughts".
I'm going to share my Place of Zen. Although I'm a little timid to do so, as I fear once I share this magic place every asshole in the area will start going there and it will no longer become my place of zen but den of douchebags. But alas, this blog is sort of dependent of my experiences... so brace yourself.
Once a week. Sometimes more. I manage to clear my morning of stupid meetings and walk from my humble abode in Laguna Beach to a somewhat hidden gem cafe. Madison Square Garden Cafe. It's nestled off PCH in what I like to call the art gallery row in North Laguna. What makes this a hidden gem is the fact that it looks like your grandma's house in the country with antique decorations hanging all over the place and in the garden. From the front you don't even realize it's a cafe, so the average tourist will just walk on by to the greasy spoon Cottage next door.
The best part is the garden out back. It's secluded from the world. It's giant trees and large fence block out all the sound from all the assholes driving the loud ass muscle cars and Harley's down PCH. In this garden are trinkets and weird objects and statues hanging and placed in unique places throughout. It's like being in a not scary Tim Burton garden. Bascially it's food for the creative brain to have so many interesting things to stare at...some even stare back.
My routine starts with ordering a coffee or Cappacino and the bagel with lox. I find my little nook in the garden and sit down with a good people watching view. I bust out the moleskine (yes, I'm hipster like that) and prepare for the ideas to flow. Some days the ideas are brilliant, most days they are just ideas on paper. But the only distractions are the ones in my mind. No computer, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instant messaging, perhaps the occasional email read... but few compulsive distractions. I'm in my Place of Zen.
Now not everyone is lucky enough to live in 75 degree and sunny weather next to a garden paradise cafe. But your place of zen doesn't have to be fancy. I recently read an article on the99percent.com about finding your creative armchair. They say to get up out of your office chair and find your armchair to do your creative thinking. I love that idea. Every office should have a great lounge areas for people to go and unplug. If you have a minute check click over. It's a great read. Better written and has similar points to what you just read here.
Now that I've shared by Place of Zen, I hope you fools will stay away from it. Although I encourage everyone to find there own place where you can get away and just think.
A few tips:
1. Make sure it's close. You don't want to have to make too much of an effort to go.
2. Don't go too often. You want it to feel special everytime you go. So don't wear it out like your favorite T-shirt.
3. Don't bring the laptop. Bring the notebook. Writing things down makes it real and an idea your more likely to keep thinking about.
4. Avoid the smart phone withdrawals. The longer you can go with out checking your phone the better. I think I went 15 minutes once... started to feel nauseous. Until I checked Facebook.
So interwebs... what's your Place of Zen or special Armchair?