On Writing in Coffee Shops

February 10, 2013

Classic go-go juice.
I love working in coffee shops.  I can write at home under deadline, but when I really need to crank the words out, there is nowhere I'd rather go than a busy coffee shop with an open outlet and a solid soy latte.  In this enormous metropolis, this can be a tall order, especially on a Sunday night.

Tonight I was able to work in a coffee shop near my house.  The quiet chatter and the sound of a milk steamer pushed my brain into overdrive, and I was able to work on some shorter pieces for different contests.  I started two additional stories just messing around, and I got about 300 words down for part two of my trilogy.

Henry Rollins.
It probably helped that I was too lazy to get up and ask for the WiFi password.  Nothing deflates my productivity faster than photos of cute bunnies on the internetz.  Or cute men.  Or cute shoes.  Or cute former-front men of the punk band Black Flag who are now journalists and spoken-word artists.

Which brings me to this piece from LAWeekly columnist Henry Rollins.  It's all about working in coffee shops.  Here's part of it:
There is an indescribable optimism I feel when I walk into these places. That initial blast of warmth and coffee-filled air makes me think that anything is possible....This is when life truly hums. It vibrates through my system and I am unstoppable....I must say, I would rather be around caffeinated people than inebriated ones. I like seeing all those laptops open, all those devices being stared at with such concentration, all those people engaging in conversation that is not dulled by the effects of a depressant like alcohol. The bioelectricity and mechanical accoutrements is a turn-on. Seeing people engage in this way makes me think that we are going to be OK. I could be wrong about all of this in actual fact, but this is how it looks to me.
 I have always hoped that "all those brains whirring at once" would in fact rub off on me, and that our shared productivity increases in proportion with the number of us working together at one time.
I have it in my mind that in the coffee place, there is an implied level of intellect amongst my co-caffeiniacs that would preclude violent behavior. And perhaps all those brains whirring at once will rub off on me. Valued reader, I need all the help I can get.

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