Bookish Pet Peeve #11: The Coffee Shop Writer
Confession: I’ve never written a single word in a coffee shop.
Confession number two: I don’t recall ever taking a laptop inside a coffee shop.
Confession number three: I hate coffee. Like, I loathe coffee. It smells like a combination of cigarettes and skunk.
That being the case, I’m a terrible candidate to be a novelist.
From my understanding, 88% of novels are written in coffee shops. Of that 88%, about two-thirds are written in independently owned coffee shops (Starbucks is sooo corporate and all).
I could never be a novelist. In fact, I should be ashamed to call myself a writer. My coffee literacy is incredibly lacking. When I’m at Starbucks with my wife, I order a hot chocolate while my she orders a chai latte vente 3 splenda latte macchiota with chives and a dash of Tabasco.
Seriously, I think I would have an easier time learning Mandarin than understanding how to properly order coffee.
Anyway, this pet peeve isn’t so much about coffee as it is this idea that “real” writers need to fit some kind of stereotype—that’s the one that involves writing a novel on a Macbook in Starbucks (and don’t forget the hipster hat!).
Now, I’m not hating on those of you that frequent coffee shops with your MacBook. If that’s how you tap into your inner muse, then who am I to judge?
All I’m saying is that effective writing takes many forms—and while the coffee shop routine might work for you, I’d rather plop down in my chair with my laptop in my “man room.” Many famous novelists prefer to have some kind of private study in a quiet corner of their house.
This faulty idea of the coffee shop writer goes hand-in-hand with the nonsense about writers needing to find a cabin in the woods overlooking a mountain stream in order to be inspired. Silliness.
Coffee or not, I hope you have a writing spot that works for you and, most importantly, you don’t feel to go where everyone else goes just because “that’s what writers do.”
And if I didn’t make the point, I’ll let Family Guy make it for me.
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