coffee shop writing

I have writer friends who say they write better in a coffee shop, or maybe not better, but they actually write instead of sitting and staring at the page.

Today, I decided to go to a coffee shop to write.  I suppose it is something you have to get used to.  There were a lot of people at the coffee shop, old people, young people, more old people, babies.  Some reading, some eating, some meeting.

I ordered a coffee and one egg and toast, the usual for me. I sat and began. Two people next to me talked about allergies, an older man in a well-worn pair of Chuck Taylor’s read a newspaper, another old man in golf gear and with red, red face read a book and blew his nose in a foghorn sound into a napkin, over and over. A police officer and a large lady with brilliant red hair and flower tattoos as sleeves sit discussing something that seems important.

Maybe coffee shops that don’t serve food are a little less crazy? Or maybe my writer friends who write in coffee shops are crazy? Normally I write in silence or with baroque music playing – it’s supposed to spur creativity – or with a metronome in the background – the rhythm quiets my mind.

I stayed with it though and thought, you won’t know until you try.

I often write down ideas for my next writing session and write a few lines and leave it for a few days or weeks and then come back and bang it right out. I thought I might try that and worked on a few pieces and then I opened a piece I wrote back in January that at the time I believed was the first chapter of my book and all of a sudden I had it. The words they flew onto the page as if from somewhere else and then Guns n Roses – Sweet Child of Mine – came on the overhead in the coffee shop and I knew I must be on the right track. My life IS a story! Sweet Child of Mine – reminds me of my best friend from college, which were sweet and not so innocent times, and the fact that I was once a sweet innocent child despite my upbringing.

Where do we go now? Where do we go now?

I realize about an hour into writing that there is a problem with this writing in a coffee shop idea – at least for me – sometimes the things I write, especially those from my childhood bring me to tears.  Here I sit in a coffee shop writing, tears dripping, once in a while. Feeling weird, but going with it anyway.

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe ~ Truman Capote

Listen for the clues, they are all around. Stay with it, stay and then – GO!