The Myth of the Coffee House Writer

Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge in San Diego (still a favorite haunt of mine)

Yes, lattes are wonderful. I can always snuggle down in an overstuffed chair and let my thoughts wander with a cup a Joe. But do you really need a coffee house to write? I used to think so. There was a time that I could only write while seated in my local java brewery. I worked in longhand then, on yellow legal pads. I did write a lot, but it was sporadic. After all, I had to wait until I was at the coffee house to write.

Basically the coffee house was my crutch. I used it because I wanted to be seen as a writer. Maybe have some passerby ask me what I was doing. Then I could spout off about my latest work.

In truth, much of what I wrote during those times was unprintable. I wasn’t a serious writer. I only played at one. (I’m not a writer, but I play one on TV.) It wasn’t until later, after visiting a writing conference and joining this writing group, that I realized how I could change this hobby into a habit.

Write everyday, even when you don’t feel like it. I’ve seen multiple writers expound this tidbit, and it couldn’t be truer. Sure I take a few breaks—everyone needs a night off here and there—but not many. I’ve programmed my body to expect writing. And when I don’t get it, I feel like I missed out on something.

I still pour a steaming cup of coffee. The difference is, when I’m writing, really laying down the words, I hardly touch the stuff. I don’t have time. That’s the difference between pretending and doing.

Tim Kane


About Tim Kane

Tim Kane is a young adult fiction writer.
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6 Responses to The Myth of the Coffee House Writer

  1. My son always laughs at the laptop people in Starbucks who are “writing their novels.” Of course, he’s 23, and he knows everything. Now I must GET TO WORK. Unfortunately, it’s pay for hire editing, not the real stuff. Client asking, When? When?

  2. tonyacree says:

    I use the coffee house as my break. I do most of my writing from the recliner in my living room, with my computer in my lap (this despite the fact I have a very nice PC with an ergonomic keyboard in my office) When I want a break from the usual, I take my laptop to what ever coffee house is close by at the time, like I did tonight. The coffee house writing is my treat to myself. And two people did ask what I was working on.

  3. I’m w/ Tonyacree.
    I do most of my writing in my studio or on my couch. But our local coffeehouse has a 30-minute internet cut-off rule during peak times. So sometimes I’ll treat myself and go to Panera and write, knowing that A.) I’m not a hermit, B.) They make better pastry than I do, and C.) I won’t be able to waste time online and will be forced to produce. I have my favorite “spot” there and have been known to get massive amounts of work done while fueled by equal amounts of caffeine and sugar.

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