We here at Coffee Shoppers love coffee shops in part because we are writers. If you haven't noticed, writers love coffee shops. Something about the smell, the atmosphere, and the caffeine aids both creativity and productivity.
Coffee shops are perfect for writers. Let us count the ways. There is a steady stream of writers' favorite beverages. There are people to watch for inspiration. There is just the right amount of noisy buzz to get stuff done. There are tables and outlets and it's totally normal to sit and camp out for a couple of hours. We don't want to romanticize or anything, but it's almost like coffee shops and writers were made for each other.
We decided to ask some of our friends (and some people we'd love to be able to call friends without being weird) who are also writers to tell us about writing in coffee shops. We love writing in coffee shops, "but you don't have to take our word for it!" Take these fine people's:
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop?
To be very honest, I love that creating in coffee shops makes me feel like the kinds of writers you see on the movie screens. The ones who always look at ease with the world. The ones with bright red lips and red slouchy hats to match who are tucked in the corner of the shop by the window, slowly stitching the hearts of others one her own sleeve.
I love being that girl. Or seeming like that girl. And finding some sort of peace in the bustle of the morning as all the regulars come in to get their "usual" and not a single one of them probably knows the ways in which I am observing them, and taking down their quirks, and wondering who they've given their heart to and where they think they'll travel next. It's not that I just love creating with a cup of brew by my side, I love that an endless amount of content is always walking through door.
What's your setup?
It changes from time to time but usually I have my laptop and notebook by side. These days, I have endless scraps of paper that will one day look very pretty sitting in book form. Because the pile is so large, people always ask me what I am doing. I like the occasional conversation while I am working. Most days you will find me at a high top table because I like to move the stool to the side of me and just stand at the table as I write.
What's your drink of choice?
I am a big Starbucks nut, so when I am there I choose a grande blonde with two pumps of peppermint. Wherever else I am, normally a cappuccino.
Hannah Brencher is the founder of More Love Letters and writes beautiful words over on her website. She's writing a book right now which we strongly suggest you put on your to-read list as soon as it comes out. Jim Woods
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop? I love writing in a coffee shop because you can feel the creativity in the air. It's inspirational and it fuels me. Just watching others in conversation inspires me too.
What's your setup? I carry around an old Macbook I use just for writing. The funny thing is the battery is questionable at best. So when it dies, I go old school and use a composition notebook.
What's your drink of choice? I prefer the Americano and get it 99% of the time. It's always a safe bet.
What's your coffee shop pet peeve? Not enough power outlets--see answer number 2!
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop? I love that it's equal parts stimulation and accountability. Because I'm quite literally paying to be there, I feel like I'm losing money if I'm not productive. Also, unlike when I'm home by myself, I feel like people around me will judge me if I spend copious amounts of time on Facebook and Pinterest. Those two factors combined create a recipe for instant productivity for me.
What's your setup? I usually write with just my laptop and try to keep my phone in my bag so I don't get distracted. However, if I'm working on a longer article, I'll usually bring a legal pad to make notes and I'll break out my iPad or a few books on the side if I need to research while I'm writing.
What's your drink of choice? Usually peppermint tea with no sweetener, but if I have a lot to do and I'm tired I'll order either an iced coffee with two splendas or a vanilla latte, regular sugar. My relationship with my sweet tooth is complicated.
What's your coffee shop pet peeve? People who talk at the top of their lungs, especially when someone around them is obviously working. I don't care if you and your best friend's boyfriend slept together last night and now you're feeling bad about it. I don't care if you love your new pastor. I don't care how terrible your last business trip was. And, like omg, I certainly don't care about the cat fight your sorority sisters got into at the last chapter meeting. Can't you people see I'm busy? Pipe down!!
Nicole Jeannette is a writer, activist and free spirit. Check out her posts and storytelling at maybeimamazed.com!
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop? As someone who gets easily distracted by TV and chores, working in a coffee shop is a great way for me to stay focused on my writing and brainstorming. I love the smells, the sounds, and the sights at coffee shops. All of these things spur on my creativity.
What's your setup? My coffee shop setup is simple: Computer or iPad, a pen and pad for notes, and a strong cup of coffee.
What's your drink of choice? My ultimate preference is a classic bold roast coffee (lightly sweetened), though I'm easily swayed on a seasonally-flavored latte.
What's your coffee shop pet peeve? My biggest coffee shop pet peeve is kind of a selfish one: Not enough electrical outlets. A close second would be when someone or a group chooses the table/seats right beside you when there are plenty of open seats to choose from.
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop? For me, being surrounded by movement and action helps my creativity. If I am stuck on a project, or have to start a new, big one, I'll leave my 'home office' (AKA the couch/kitchen table) and work from a coffee shop. I also love the energy and the smell.
What's your setup? Macbook Pro and headphones. If I forget my headphones, life is over and I will go home and get them or abandon everything dramatically. I won't be able to focus on what I'm working on if I don't have music. I'll just start listening to everyone's conversations or daydreaming.
What's your drink of choice? Hmmm depends on the shop. I like a good pour over, or a plain 'ol latte. I will also drink iced coffee all the way until the weather is in the teens (personal rule.)
What's your coffee shop pet peeve? When I lived in Nashville, it was hard to find a coffee shop where people respected that you were there to work, not to play. People coming in to grab a drink, or take a break should remember to ask if they can sit down, or if you have a few minutes to talk...this is your job after all. I don't waltz up to their cubicle and sit on their desk for 15 minutes without asking. I am also a firm believer in the right to one free refill. Ooh, and as coffee shoppers, I think we should always, always buy something. And tip well. And be nice. The end.
Lyndsay Rush is a Chicago resident and a writer and a branding specialist. You should definitely follow her on twitter and check out her branding company (not cow branding-- though, hey, we don't know her life -- but brand...coming-up-with. We're sure she can explain it better.)
Do you write stuff? Do you write it in coffee shops? We're already planning a Writers & Coffee Shops Part 2 (and maybe a Part 3 and 4 and 5...) and we'd love you to take part. You can contact us here.
Writer or not, what's your biggest coffee shop pet peeve?