ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Art of Writing in Coffee Shops

Updated on January 5, 2012

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.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • johndvan profile imageAUTHOR

      johndvan 

      6 years ago

      Who else writes in coffee shops? Anything to add?

    • johndvan profile imageAUTHOR

      johndvan 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Pierre - you're my first alien visitor. Some of the symbols look like the graffiti characters used to input characters with stylus on the Palm PDA.

    • johndvan profile imageAUTHOR

      johndvan 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Gyldenboy.

      The batteries on both my cell phone and laptop are past their best before dates so I keep my eyes open for outlets while I'm out and about.

    • johndvan profile imageAUTHOR

      johndvan 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the support RJ.

      I used to write in hard cover notebooks. Since I've started publishing on HubPages, I've switched to using a laptop. It's much easier to cut, paste and edit digitally.

      I'll check out your hubs.

    • Pierre Savoie profile image

      Pierre Savoie 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I try to write fiction in public places. But I write at 100 words per minute in Pitman shorthand, which looks like this:

      http://pitmanshorthand.homestead.com/writsample.ht...

      Everyone thinks I'm an alien, writing notes to send home to be integrated into Plans for the Invasion.

    • Gyldenboy profile image

      Gyldenboy 

      7 years ago from Burnaby, BC, Canada

      Interesting. I've thought about writing in coffee shops, but it makes me a bit nervous to take a laptop around with me.

      As for the battery problem, I never knew you could find an outlet in some of these shops for use. Cool.

      There's some great advice here for writing in public places. Good job!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Do you use a computer or or we talking about writing on a steno pad? I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan! RJ

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)