Writers & Coffee Shops [Part 2]

writers

writers Welcome back to part II of our 'Writers & Coffee Shops' series! To recap, part of the reason we love coffee shops so much is that we both fancy ourselves writers, and, if you bring the right tools with you, coffee shops can be a perfect place to write. Sometimes a dose of caffeine and the peer pressure of someone potentially looking over your shoulder and noticing you're actually taking BuzzFeed quizzes is all you need to get those last few pages done.

We asked some of our writer friends (and people we would like to be able to call friends without being weird) to tell us what they like (and loathe) about writing in coffee shops. Here's what they had to say:

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Jackson Pearce

What do you love about writing/creating in a coffee shop? It's not my house? Because in my house, I will always, always find some mundane task to procrastinate with. I have organized my spice cabinet so many times, for real. But at a coffee shop, I'm there to work. I still get distracted by the internet and whatnot, but it's a lot easier to come back to the task at hand than when I get distracted by a sudden need to repaint the baseboards.

What's your setup? Laptop, noise-canceling headphones, and endless optimism.

What's your drink of choice? Basic skim latte, with a little bit of raw sugar.

What's your coffee shop pet peeve? Phone people. Oh, the phone people-- the ones who take hour long conference calls less than two feet from you. Men are the worst about this, I notice, because they start doing that Don Draper businessman voice that just booms through the room, and suddenly, it's 3pm and all I've done is listen to the epic saga of Saundra in sales putting paperwork though.

Jackson Pearce is a young adult author for Little, Brown and has written several fantastic books, including a series of re-told fairy tales. Check her out on Twitter @jacksonpearce, and her website. (Her most recent book, Tsarina, is lovely historical fiction. You should read it. - L)

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Leigh Kramer
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop?
There are so many creatives at coffee shops, it's infectious. I love seeing so many people who are talented at their respective crafts. It inspires me to keep on plugging away. Plus, it makes for good people watching and conversation overhearing. Not that I ever do such a thing. I'm always completely diligent about my work.
 
What's your setup?
Ideally my friend Amanda Williams (@life_edited) will meet me there so we can catch up a bit before working on our respective writing projects. Otherwise, all I need is my laptop, idea notebook, and a nice hot drink. I do some of my best writing at Crema and Edgehill Cafe.
 
What's your drink of choice?
Usually breakfast tea. I adore coffee but I get all kinds of hyped up on the caffeine. Every once in a while I'll get a latte- I can't resist Crema's Bourbon Barrel Sorghum Latte.
 
What's your coffee shop pet peeve?
Not enough electrical outlets. My laptop is old and needs to be plugged in wherever I go.
Leigh Kramer is a Nashvillian, a writer, and a blogger. Check out her blog here or follow her on twitter
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Jen Clapp

When I first latched on to coffee shops as writing locations, Starbucks had these wonderful plush couches and chairs, arranged in comfortable little groups with low lighting and convenient table placement. It was the perfect location to meet up with friends, catch up on each others' lives, and then relax into silence with a book or journal...the perfect location for me, an introvert who still liked to talk and people watch.

Now that Starbucks has some of the most uncomfortable and mass produced furniture out there, I tend to head to other locations first (Fido, Edgehill Cafe, Frothy Monkey), but 90% of the time I still grab some kind of latte with no fat milk and extra shot of espresso, crack open a notebook or journal in lieu of a computer, and people-watch as much as I put pen to pad.
My favorite place since moving to Nashville has actually been a chain place - It's a Grind - in Cool Springs. It had those same plush chairs, cozy atmosphere, and group of evening regulars who made the place feel familiar. It ended up closing down because of people who would come in to work from there each day - mostly writers - that would order one cup of coffee and then monopolize a table for six or more hours. I've found this to be a common thing, probably owing to Nashville's large group of writers (music, literature, curriculum, you name it...freelancers are everywhere) - as a result, I try to make sure that unless I'm meeting friends, I stick to a "one purchase every two hours" rule. I feel like two hours is a standard amount of time people might meet up to hang out, so I want to spend just as much money if I'm tying up a table for longer than that. (Remember that you're in a business, folks. And tip your barista (and wait staff, if you're at Fido and the pull of fries with garlic aioli is strong)!)
Jen Clapp lives in Nashville. She blogs here and tweets here. Be sure to follow her for all kinds of pop-culture references! 
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Katy Boatman
What do you love about writing or creating in a coffee shop
I love writing in a coffee shop because I always feel like I can pick up the creative energy of the other coffee folk.  I'm not even a coffee fanatic, but I'd rather sit next to a stranger who's studying for finals or a friendly skinny jeans-wearing dude who is also typing away on his laptop.  It's all about the atmosphere.
 
What's your setup? 
All I need is my laptop, an open outlet, and a sweet drink (I should really just make that my life motto).
 
What's your drink of choice? 
Chai Tea Latte
 
What's your coffee shop pet peeve?
The single person at the four person table.  Come on, man!
Katy Boatman is a Nashvillian. She blogs about the humor and struggles of being single here. Check out her Coffee Shoppers Guest Post here, and follow her on twitter
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Sam Davidson
I actually hate writing in coffee shops. Fun fact: no one writes in coffee shops. Just like no one studies in them, either. You go to coffee shops to avoid writing and studying. Guess who doesn't write in coffee shops? John Grisham, that 50 Shades lady, Paul (the apostle), and most successful writers.
But, when I want to pretend to write, I go set up my laptop, cruise Facebook, tweet/Instagram my latte foam, and wait until someone I know walks in. Then, I tell them I'm "writing" while they go back to work to do stuff (like actual work). It's a blast.
Sam Davidson is a Keynote Speaker, Author, and Social Entrepreneur from Nashville. He blogs here and tweets here
Ahem. We Coffee Shoppers have a bit of a rebuttal for Sam's accusations. First of all, I don't think they had coffee shops in prison where Paul was writing, Sam. That wasn't an option he could take advantage of. Second, let us throw out some names: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gladwell. Third, is "that 50 Shades lady" who we're holding up as an example of literary prowess these days?
Do you agree with Sam? Is it better to write from another location? Or do you prefer coffee shops for productivity?