Coffee Shops & Writers

“Coffee and friends make the perfect blend.” – Unknown

I always thought the association between coffee shops and writers was kind of funny. Some coffee-lovers are in and out of the shop within seconds to grab their daily dose of caffeine, while others linger with laptops and books. One summer, it was on my bucket list to write in a coffee shop. I thought I should try it out because it seemed like the habitat where writers crawled to on a rainy day or any day for that matter.

Though it wasn’t raining, I still wanted to try the coffee shop thing so I could cross it off my list that summer. The rain usually helped me write. I haven’t figured out why, but I think it’s a mood thing. My sister and I set off for Starbucks with our laptops. It was hot. It was busy. It wasn’t like those moody scenes in movies or books. As a writer, I should’ve known not to believe the archetype.

It was hard to focus. Some writers have said listening to real-life conversations helps them write dialogue, but I had trouble readjusting in this new environment. I usually can only write with certain types of music as my background noise. Other people talking was just distracting. Some of the best conversations may come from eavesdropping, but I couldn’t put the creative writing exercise to work that day.

When I did my rainy day shoot with Mary, the pictures turned out lovely. They fit perfectly with the writer in the coffee shop image that I always wanted to have even though we lacked a laptop or book. It made me want to give coffee shops another try, but also made me realize a change in environment might be good for my writing. A new environment might help my writing wheels to turn better, or differently.

*Photo credit: Mary Jane Cole Photography


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