Writing Problems: Passing Time in a Coffee Shop

Snow removal at my condo timed weirdly with a hair appointment, so instead of moving my car and then fetching it less than an hour later, I decided to pass part of the morning in the coffee shop alongside my hairdresser’s.  I crammed a notebook and book into my purse, ordered a croissant, and took up a big portion of a table, set to get some work done.

Mmm, croissants... photo credit: Castle Pantry - Croissant via photopin (license)
Mmm, croissants…
photo credit: Castle Pantry – Croissant via photopin (license)

I’ve left the house to write before. For a week when I still lived with my parents, I spent the better part of the morning in the local library editing away on the then current story. Since then I’ve pulled out the notebook on airplane trips and when I’ve waited in hotel rooms, but it’s been a long time since I left my house with the specific intent of writing.

In the course of an hour, I got quite a bit done. I picked up a momentum and got a few pages written. When I took a moment to pause there was plenty to look at: the town cops coming in for their regular coffee, an older couple saying grace over their egg sandwiches, a pair of teenagers yammering away, happy. At home I have the distraction of the TV, the dog (though I love her so), the mess of my house that really ought to be picked up, those novels that actually should be organized in a different way… I still had my phone to distract me a little, but all the pointless junk I usually look at becomes less important when I move myself to a different scene. A quick skim of Facebook became less a death to my productivity, and more a chance to breath before diving back into the deep end.

I’m lazy. Once I’m home, I have a hard time pushing myself out the door. But maybe I can try a little trip outside of my nest on a more regular basis, and who knows — maybe I’ll finish my work. (As long as all those buttered croissants don’t choke my heart.)

Writers and creative types, do you ever leave the house to get your work done? Do you find it helpful, or even more of a distraction than your desk at home? Do you thrive in coffee shops, or is a nice calm quiet library (oh, I crack myself up) more your thing? Let me know!

6 thoughts on “Writing Problems: Passing Time in a Coffee Shop

    • Thank you for the comment! Yeah, when I’m at home silence is helpful, though the white noise of the dryer running helps me concentrate, along with making me feel like I’m productive! Ha.

      Right now I’m working on a supernatural story, which I think is New Adult? But I’m not positive. What are you writing?

      • Awesome!! You are so inspirational! Right now I am just blogging but I am researching freelance opportunities and hoping to get something published. I used to write a lot when I was a young girl but then when high school and college started things got crazy busy…now I just graduated and picked up the hobby again. It feels amazing! My dream would be to get my blog rolling and make a living off that or publish some sort of Ebook. I guess time will tell. Best of luck! :)

  1. For academic writing, I take my noise cancelling headphones and a massive movie scores playlist and park at a library from open until close. I drafted my graduate thesis in three days that way. For fiction, I like busier places. My home has an excess of children, and is therefore a madhouse. Unless I’m stuck or writing a scene I find especially challenging, then it does help to get out of the house and hold down a coffee shop table or a library carrel until my work makes sense to me again. Good luck to you. :-)

    • Noise cancelling headphones sound awesome…not that it’s particularly noisy where I am, but I have a tendency to want to be near my loved ones when I write/read while also wishing they would be quieter… I’m definitely going to try the coffee shop thing more often. Good luck to you, too!

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