Pamela MacNaughtan

I was in one of those writing ruts before I moved to Québec City. I was staying with family (which I enjoy), I had constant access to wi-fi, and I was always distracted. One would think that having constant access and an open schedule would be the best thing in the world. Let me tell you, it’s not.

At least not for me.

Too much freedom is distracting the same way too much quiet is distracting. It allows my brain to wander and dream, and although that it not entirely a bad thing, it does keep me from doing things that I know I need to get done. In other words, it promotes procrastination, big time!

Procrastination is a writer’s disease, or at least that is what I assume from the various articles I read. Many writers wait until the last minute to finish articles before deadlines. Hell, Im one of them! I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve written a piece the morning it was due. Why? Usually, because I allowed myself to be distracted by my endless freedom – and sometimes because ‘life’ with my family ate up my time – but mostly because of my personal distractions.

Until now.

Living in Québec

Moving to a new city and province is always like a new beginning. It is a chance to re-invent oneself, or re-connect with the parts of yourself that have been laying dormant. The future is clean and open. It’s freaking exciting. I absolutely love it.

I love the fact that by living on my own I automatically start eating better. I buy healthier foods. I cook more. Right now I’m attempting to read French cooking magazines and choosing recipes I want to try.

I also exercise more. Living in the old city means that I almost never wake up and decide to stay home all day long. I’m usually outside by 9 am to go for a walk, or to hang-out in a café with wi-fi. When it’s time to go home, I’m walking up 60+ stairs to my apartment. And did I mention that Old Québec is full of hills and stairs?

Living in Québec (so far) is pretty freaking awesome. The people are friendly, the food is yummy, the city is beautiful, and I can find wi-fi in several places near my apartment.

Working in Québec

I’ve written about how I’m subletting a man cave in the heart of the old city, and I’ve chatted on social media about how the illegal second floor is like a treehouse. What I many not have mentioned is that there is no cable TV or wi-fi in the apartment. I don’t need cable TV, but wi-fi is kind of essential to what I do and how I make money. That being said I’m not willing to pay for it.

Thankfully there are several cafés nearby (I’ll write about those at a later date) that offer free wi-fi and don’t mind if I show up with my laptop for a few hours to work. Which brings me to how Québec is changing the way I work.

Some may find the lack of wi-fi crippling, but for me, it is kind of a blessing in disguise. I no longer spend hours upon hours creeping the internet and my social media channels instead of writing. Instead, I spend a couple hours in the morning at a café to do my social media work, upload and edit blog posts, and return emails. After that, I drop off my laptop and go out for a walk for an hour or two. In the afternoon and evening, I’m in my apartment writing without wi-fi and using my phone for quick look-ups, or reading a book (the paper kind). Sometimes I’ll go out to a pub, or back to a café for an hour or so to play on Pinterest.

In a way, Québec is redefining my work day. I no longer spend my whole day working poorly, I now have blocked times for specific tasks and I’m actually going out and living my life at the same time. It’s incredibly freeing.

In other words, I am actually starting to live the more passionate lifestyle I have been dreaming of, and planning, for the last few months.

Man, I hope this honeymoon phase I’m in never stops. Ever!


  • December 19, 2013

    I love Quebec and Quebecois. And my favorite area is the ski resort of Mont Tremblant. I am looking forward to reading more stories.

  • Stephanie

    February 26, 2014

    Bienvenue in our city ! I’m happy to know people enjoy living here. It’s like me, I’m living in the old city but I freaking love Montreal. 🙂


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