So what’s the deal with coffee shops? They are the haunts of many a writer, me included. Whether I’m writing copy for a client’s website or working on my manuscript, one of the most productive places for me is the local coffeehouse.
Is it the caffeine? Is it the break in isolation that so many writers experience? Is it the white noise of conversation and espresso machines? Unlike sitting at our desks at home, do we feel pressure to accomplish something because we’re not alone? Do the people floating through give us character inspiration? Is it that there is a time limit to our activity?
I’m going to guess for most of us, it’s all the above.
And, we’re good company. TS Elliott, Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein, and F Scott Fitzgerald all wrote in coffee shops. As did JK Rowling and one of Dr. J’s favorite contemporary mystery novelists, William Kent Krueger.
It got me thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know). If writers seem to get inspiration from coffeehouses, where are other professionals most creative?
Do you have a space that encourages creativity or productivity? Where is it? Is it at home or away? Is it loud or is it quiet?
Did you know that there are actually apps that create ambient sounds like those found in a coffee shop or library? (Because apparently low levels of sound boost productivity and information processing . . . who knew.)
Share your creative space in the comments below – I’m always looking for new places to write.
(And, if you happen to see a writer in your local coffee shop, remember this quote from Dave Berry: “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”)