The Art of Writing in Coffee Shops
It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung the green water-proof I found in the dumpster on the back of the chair to dry and put my weathered umbrella in the stand by the door and ordered the cheapest cup of coffee. The barista brought it. I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat, sharpened the pencil and started to write.
I have to get out of the house to write. The buzz of people coming gets the creative juices flowing so I naturally gravitate to coffee shops. But not just anyplace will do; there's an art to writing in coffee shops.
You want a fairly big shop where you're not taking seats away from other customers. Booths are nice so you can spread out your stuff. One shop I go to has a secluded second floor where all the laptop jockeys plug in. Some low pop music in the background and a street view keep me writing.
Decent, cheap coffee, If you can find a shop that still has a Clover coffee machine you're in luck. French press java is a nice second choice. The price has got to be $2 or under for my budget.
Before ordering I like to scope out the electrical outlets. If the muses are obliging you might be writing for a few hours - you don't want to run out of juice.
Since you're going to be working for a couple of hours furniture ergonomics means a lot especially if you write on a laptop. Does the table rock? I can't write sitting shoulder to shoulder along a long counter. Perching on a high chair makes the shoulders ache. You want your forearms level with the table to avoid repetitive stress syndrome. A shaded spot out of the direct sun makes the screen a lot easier to read.
Beware of the regulars or you'll spend more time talking than writing. Set yourself a 2 hour limit to trick out a 600 word article. If it's popular you can come back and polish it.
If the well goes dry try listening to the people at the next table. Write down snippets of conversation and try to expand them into a story. Remember you're a magpie collecting threads of description. twigs of conversation to weave into a word sweater.
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