Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Writers Should Write in a Cafe

This essay is for those of you who write in cafes, or those of you who think you might like to write in cafes, or if the idea of writing in a cafe appeals to you though you've never done it, or if you're wondering if writing in a cafe might prove beneficial to you in some way, or if you just want to learn what it is writers do in cafes, how writers write in cafes, and what it is they write about in cafes. This essay is for the preceding kinds of individuals.

My café writing time is amazingly productive, all things considered. Almost every day I spend some time writing in cafes. I've noticed I accomplish much of my best writing while sitting in a café with a cup of coffee and people around me coming and going.

I surprise myself with how much I get done. Ideas appear to me in cafes that I don’t perceive anywhere else. I’m able to pick up and continue narratives I had stopped when writing them in other places long ago. The format doesn't matter; it could be nonfiction, a novel, short story, or poem. And the noise level doesn't matter. That's something I've grown accustomed to because writing in noisy environments is a necessity of modern urban life. 

Something indefinable exists within the air in cafes that promotes quality writing in huge quantities. Like a household spray that removes bad odors, the café air removes internal roadblocks and allows me to write my best.

Writing in a cafe removes you from your usual writing habitat, likely your own home. An alternative physical location can inject new ideas into your mind and enhance your creativity. I suppose that is part of the appeal of a writers' colony. For me, my colony isn't out in Vermont but right in the big city with dozens of people entering and exiting a cafe within the space-time of a couple hours.

I see writers on the internet asking for remedies to writer's block and how to put words on a blank sheet of paper or words on a blank new document in a word processing program. My advice: go to a café and write there! Works for me.


My most recent book, a collection of short stories:

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