I am trying to write my second novel. It is not easy, to say the least. I am confident, however, that this is a universal truth among authors attempting to write their first or seventy-first long piece of fiction or non-fiction. The reasons for this difficulty may vary from author to author. My main roadblock seems to be the increasing disenchantment of sitting in a room all by myself for long periods of time. Again, I suspect I am not alone in this predicament. The problem apparently extends far beyond the relatively small segment of the population on planet earth attempting to write novels. I know this because I have recently taken my laptop to a local Starbucks to resolve my isolation problem.
The Starbucks I now regularly inhabit is not your everyday Starbucks. Management recently retrofitted the place with long tables, benches actually, with stools and a strip of electrical outlets underneath to plug in battery cables. Droves of people come here, not just to chat and caffeinate, but to do WORK! This includes college-students doing real, actual homework, not wasting time on Facebook. Freelance, self- employed, and independent contractor types also hang out here. These people, like myself, are hard at work, despite the distractions of noisy conversation and often-times idiotic, piped-in music. I find this phenomenal and wonder,”Why do we come here?” Many, if not all of us, are surely not homeless.
I can only speak for myself. I come here to overcome loneliness—to make some sort of connection. And I’m happy to report that my new strategy is paying off. I’m writing my novel on a regular basis, slowly but surely.
Now that we may have some insight into the reason for the overwhelming success of the Starbucks chain, I would like to come to the point of this piece. Many years ago, I began listening to Prem Rawat speak about an inner experience of peace and contentment. At the time, I did not have to go to Starbucks to be around people. I had a full time, good-paying job, a girlfriend, my parents and cousins to surround me. Yet, something was missing.
Mr. Rawat’s message of peace captivated me in a way nothing had previously. I followed up on his promise to reveal a source of peace and contentment within myself. I practiced the techniques of what he calls Knowledge, and, to make a long story short, I have not been in the least bit disappointed. Well, perhaps that statement is not entirely true. I had the idea shortly after receiving the techniques of Knowledge that I would not need anything else, including people. To make another long story short, that idea turned out to be foolish and a bit funny, now that I look back on it.
But there is a point here, somewhere. Oh yes, here it is: I need outer connections—with colleagues in my chosen profession, with friends and family, even Facebook connections. Thanks to the experience of Knowledge, I’ve learned that I need something else. I need a connection with myself for my life to be complete. I’m not going to put a name to what I’ll call “myself,” because I’ve learned that names are insufficient to describe it. I will just say this: I was looking for a missing piece of the puzzle of my life. Prem Rawat helped me to find it. Now, I feel my life is complete. It is full, not stuffed with things on the outside, but from within. And my connections on the outside are more fulfilling, because I am a more full and complete person, with more to offer to others.