writing

I Tried Writing In A Coffee Shop For The First Time

Today, I actually sat down to write in a coffee shop for the first time.  That maybe sounds weird, but it was honestly the first time I had sat down in a coffee shop, with my laptop, with the intention of writing, and actually doing it.  Granted, I work at said coffee shop, made my own coffee, and sat down at the bar I typically serve drinks behind, but still, it was a first.

I always see people writing while I work.  It’s like the coffee shop is the place to come and write, and I have always wondered how a coffee shop is really all that inspiring.  Maybe it’s my bias from not wanting to be constantly be in the setting I work in, but I have never really gotten the bug to go to a coffee shop for the sole purpose of writing (I could do that in my dorm room).  I also feel as though I make an immediate judgment about people that write in coffee shops (ya know…the pumpkin spice latte type…).

So I decided to try it.  And honestly it wasn’t all that bad.

No one died from shock, I didn’t die from writer’s block, and I actually managed to write this post, and several others that I have been working on.  I had originally thought that the business and the noise would be too distracting for me (I usually write in my dorm room with the door closed, playing the same song on repeat).  However, the familiar sounds of steaming milk and scooping ice from the cooler actually weren’t a bother (maybe because they are so familiar), and the people talking and laughing around me seemed to fade into the background as I wrote (I’m honestly starting to feel like the basic pumpkin spice latte consumer as I’m writing this….apparently all I have is writing clichés…sorry guys…).

Overall, I’d rate my coffee shop writing experience as a good one.  While it isn’t my favorite place to write, and I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis, just because I spend most of my time in that coffee shop (shoutout to Townsquare Coffee House in Orange City, Iowa!), it was more enjoyable than I though it would be and it might occasionally happen after a long shift here and there.

 

 

 

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76 thoughts on “I Tried Writing In A Coffee Shop For The First Time”

  1. Coffee shops are a nice place to write when you need to break yourself out of your usual routine. I write both at home and at coffee shops and there are definitely advantages to both. Personally, I think I prefer being at home purely because I can make all the tea and coffee I want for “free”. 😉 That said, though, for ambiance, it’s hard to beat a cafe!

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  2. My last creative writing teacher touched base on this. He thinks that, when alone we require extra focus because we are repeatedly acknowledging the accountability to ourselves and our own productivity. While in the shop we are already stimulated by being moderately aware of what’s happening in an environment that won’t stay still, and that helps the creative juices flow without impeding personal thoughs. Or so it is for those of us that seldom enjoy writing in solitude.

    A lot of these pessimistic thoughts about public writers is realized with a particular Family Guy episode that mentions us, the public writers, purposely and pompously showing everyone else that we’re smart.

    One song on repeat? Does that really work? I think I’ll try it, because before the tracks would continue and each time it did, would be very disruptive.

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  3. This is a great idea ….going to a coffee shop and writing More Than One Blog Post at s time. I am going to try writing on a coffee shop tomorrow after church.

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  4. You are one of those fabulous people who serve me coffee while I write, look around at all the other people writing, look at blog posts, order more coffee and write some more. Thank you!!!

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  5. I got a lot of writing done on my first draft of my book ( still not published yet, but soon) I’m able to concentrate more away from home because their are distractions that I’m able to get away from. Also I get a soy mocha frappe and i stay away from the pumpkin spice 😜

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  6. Great topic! I can write in some coffee shops and not others. Starbucks? Forget it. The aroma is so strong I always get a headache. I’m much more “creative” at a cool indoor/outdoor (mostly outdoor) coffee shop near my house in Phoenix. There’s a bunch of shade trees, a little zen fountain, and hip music.
    Believe it or not, the best “coffee shop” I’ve found for writing is Mickey D’s. My secret is to go early in the morning and hang out in the sanctity of the kids play area before all the rugrats take over. 🙂
    Still, it seems my best concepts come to me while I’m driving. I’ve mastered the art of voice to text into notepads on my phone. Whatever it takes, I always say.

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  7. I usually write while travelling in a bus, or waiting for my teacher to come (in class), waiting for my sister so that we’d go back home together (maybe in a park or library). I guess changing places to write increase your imagination and creativeness! And coffee shop is the best place to write for❤ ’cause you don’t anyone there while sitting with them at the same time, trying to read their minds, listening to their talk and creating you own story or topic out of them. It’s fun, isn’t it? 😍

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  8. First of all I had no idea there was a pumpkin spice latte stereotype! lol That’s the main time of year I actually go into coffee shops because I love them so much (fall)! Second of all, I’m glad you found you could get something done in a busy environment when you hadn’t thought you could. I personally also like to write in quiet or with non-lyrical music playing, at home, in my dark ‘cave’ so I’m not sure how much I’d actually get done at one. That said, I do love the coffee shop environment, but I think I’d find myself listening to everyone’s conversations and taking notes for character studies rather than coming up with decent sentences. Neat post. Thanks.

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    1. Honestly, as a barista I can attest to the fact that there is NOTHING wrong with pumpkin spice lattes or people that drink them. I made hundreds of them this fall and they are actually very good if you like pumpkin. However, yes there is a stereotype associated with them, that I view more as a joke…but yeah anyway, I can totally relate to the “dark cave” for writing since I do usually write in bed with the lights off. However, the coffee shop turned out to be an interesting and productive experience. Thanks for the comments and for reading!

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  9. I always imagined those who wrote in coffee shops didn’t have internet at home. I can not focus with all the background noise but I do write from the phone app in random places often. I have learned to block out most background noises but it does seem cliche to be in a coffee shop.

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    1. I write in coffee shops but I have internet at home. Hahaha I don’t do it often just to have a break and to breathe once in a while. Sometimes, it’s nice to write about the people in the coffee shop itself. It has become too cliche now tho, yes.

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    1. I mean this is true….while J.K. Rowling did originally think of the idea for these books on a train, she did do a large amount of writing in The Elephant House, which is a famous tea and coffee house in Edinburgh. So yes, now that I have finished nerding out about Harry Potter…good observation! Thanks for reading.

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  10. I don’t think it’s strange that you had never written in a coffee shop before. In fact I think it’s kind of weird that people do that at all. I’ve been writing for almost 20 years and never once have I even considered writing in a coffee shop. I’ll take a notebook out to the park or into the woods to write every once in a while, but generally I’m at my desk in my office. I guess I perceive people who write in coffee shops as just wanting attention because I cannot imagine getting into a creative mood in that kind of space. But to each their own I guess.

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    1. Yeah that’s kind of the way I viewed coffee shop writers as well, just because a coffee shop seems like a hard environment to focus in. However, there were moments while writing in Townsqaure that I felt I was in a creative space. So, while it still wouldn’t be my first choice of writing locations, I see now that it isn’t that bad.

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    1. Wow what a small world! Yes Alton is only about 4 or 5 miles from Orange City. If you are ever driving through and have an appreciation for coffee, I fully recommend stopping by Townsqaure Coffee House!

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