Right now, as has been the case over the last couple of blog entries that I have written, I am sitting in the place where we eat and have services. I am still dressed in my church clothes as services ended not too long ago. My mother and stepfather have returned to our room, which is a short walk along a sidewalk under the open air. It is the second day of the Feast of Tabernacles here at the White Sands Resort in Oost-Para, Suriname. Oost-Para (or East Para, translated into English) sits near a river, the Para, I believe, and I happen to be watching the choppy waters of that river from where I sit while a thunderstorm is dropping rain. I will likely be stranded in the tin roof structure where I sit until the thunderstorm is done, but that doesn’t bother me.
Why not? Because it happens to be the place where the internet is the most reliable, and that is not something to take for granted. In many ways, being in Suriname has reminded me of many of the tropical places I have visited so far, as well as Florida, a subtropical place where I happen to have lived for roughly a quarter century of my life so far. My experiences in the tropics have usually involved beastly hot weather punctuated by cooling rainstorms that occasionally (see Thailand) included monsoonal conditions. The thunderstorms here in Suriname have so far most closely resembled the rains of Florida and Ghana, where immense heat was temporarily cooled in the period from the early afternoon to evening with powerful but usually brief storms. That is certainly a pattern I can live with. One other similarity between many of these places is a certain irregularity of power and internet. Thunderstorms and electronics do not generally work out well together, and the infrastructure for internet in Ghana, Thailand, and now Suriname is not really the best, although it could be a lot worse.
The real trick is knowing where one has to write. When I visited Mendoza, Argentina for the Feast of Tabernacles two years in a row, the only place that resort had reliable internet was in the lobby, and so predictably enough I placed myself often in the lobby where I could talk and socialize and also wind up doing a great deal of my online homework for my Master’s of Arts of Military History program, being invited on occasion to spend time with lovely young ladies or to drink yrba mate or something of that nature. As a writer who depends on one’s ability to blog on having reliable internet, it is of the utmost importance to find out where that internet can be found and then to go to those places and use the net. As a person whose habits are rather tame and not out of the ordinary, I don’t mind writing in public places, since all one sees is me typing on a laptop and occasionally thinking. This is not the sort of thing that bothers me, and so as a result my search for the internet outweighs my search for privacy in where I happen to do my writing.
As a writer, you have to decide what habits work best for you. The desire (or even compulsion) to write frequently will often mean that one has to find the most reliable places to write when one’s energy and insight are at their peak. Does that mean writing at work? If so, one writes at work? Can one write at home in the early morning or late evening after one’s other responsibilities are done? If so, one can write there. Can one write in libraries or hotel lobbies or restaurants or coffeehouses without being too distracted by what is going on there? If so, one can write productively in those places as well. Being a writer means figuring what is going to do and figuring out what is most important. Do you mind other people interrupting you? Do you need privacy when you write? Does being around others sometimes inspire one’s writing? In all of these cases, what one answers decides how one is going to proceed as a writer, especially when one travels. As it stands, even if my blogging today was interrupted by someone asking about a question of acoustics for services, I will likely be blogging in this place as long as I am at this resort, about which I will have more to say anon.