Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where I write

I mostly blog at home because even though I have a laptop, I worry that if I take it out of my apartment it'll get stolen by some thieves who will knock me over the head and run off with it. And then they'll read my writing and possibly steal it and publish it as their own, or maybe hate it so much that they'll post it on some website that showcases bad writing. I also worry about dropping my laptop, because I'm extremely accident prone. Then if that happens and my laptop breaks into a million pieces on the street, a bunch of strangers will see me kneeling over it, weeping and rending my garments in grief because I can't afford to buy a new one. So it's safer just to blog at home or to discreetly blog on the computer in the office I share with a bunch of other people at school.
But when it comes to writing fiction, I like going to coffee houses. There's something about the cafe atmosphere that just relaxes me, even though I'm usually drinking a very large cup of coffee. I'm always interested in where other writers go when they write; which places do you like best and why?
Today as I was walking to Caribou for my weekly coffee break, I was so happy about the thought of writing fiction for an hour that I bought a Streetwise paper (the paper that homeless people sell for $2 each; they're allowed to keep $1.25 of every $2) from a vendor even though I already bought the same copy from a different vendor yesterday. I also put my change that I got from my coffee purchase in the tip jar for the baristas, just because I was feeling so good that I was going to get to work on my manuscript. Also, I've found that if you give the baristas a tip, they're less likely to mind if you hang out at your table for a little longer and they won't keep sweeping around you for nonexistent crumbs every five minutes.
I've been working on the manuscript for my first novel for more than a year now. It's taken me a while to finish it because after I read through the first draft, I realized it needed at least two new characters; once I put them in, they changed the whole flow of the story. I didn't mind, though, because it's fun to start writing and find out what the characters are going to do next. Sometimes they'll say or do things that I hadn't even been thinking about before, and that's how they become real to me. Now that I'm nearing the end of my second draft, I feel reluctant to end the story, because I've grown attached to the characters. Maybe I'll write a sequel, but I guess I should just focus on finishing this first book first.
Here's a link to a Youtube video by Angel Taylor; I love it not just because the dancing in the video is cute (cheesy, but cute) and the song is good, but because at the beginning of the video Angel is writing in a notebook in a cafe, like I do every week. But unlike her and the people in the video, I would never get up and sing or dance in front of everyone. That would probably take a lot more caffeine before I'd be willing to do that. And possibly alcohol.


  1. Bring on the alcohol, I say!

    I'm impressed you can write in cafes. I'd love to be able to but I get too distracted by all the good food and coffee around!

  2. Ha ha! The food and the coffee are actually part of the reason why I go. At home I basically just have Cheerios, old peanut butter, and soda in my pantry, so it's nice to splurge and treat myself to something that tastes good.

  3. First time commenting! I love the way you write I feel so calm reading your stuff. Like I'm in the cafe with you! I'm a coffee lover too! I want to live in a cafe.
    Great blog!

  4. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me that you like my blog. I like yours too; I was reading it today (partly because it was more fun than reading the papers I'm supposed to be grading), and I really enjoy your sense of humor.
    I wish I could live in a cafe too. But I'd probably never sleep because then I'd have 24/7 access to all that caffeine...

  5. I am writing in a cafe at this very moment! I heart writing in cafes...I can write at home sometimes, but there are a lot of distractions (including my cat, who enjoys sitting directly on my warm keyboard).

    So glad you are plugging away on your manuscript! Maybe someday we'll both kick ass and take names in the publishing world. :)

  6. Thanks for the encouragement! It always helps to hear that from fellow writers. I know, though, that if I want to finish this manuscript before the year 2056 I'll have to spend more than a few hours a week on it. It's hard because I work multiple jobs. But I'll keep writing, neverthless.

  7. I followed your link to this oldie but goodie. I'm so glad that you posted this defense of coffeehouses. I bring my laptop to my local coffee joint because it's in walking distance to my house, but then again I bring my computer everywhere. I'm less excited today to work on the manuscript than to be almost finished with it. Onward and upward!

  8. Hi Anna,
    Whenever I see all those people in coffeehouses working on their laptops, I like to think that some of them are writers. I try not to peek at what they're writing, though. :)