Friday, 26 October 2012

Playing the writer

My Starbucks 'office'
As I type I'm sitting in our local chain coffee shop (what the hell, it's Starbucks). I've a fairly quiet day, so I thought I'd play the writer for once and have breakfast and work here a while, as I'm told this is what real writers do.

On the whole, though, I'm not sure it works for me.

Don't get me wrong. It's great having the sort of job where you can decide to have a leisurely breakfast and a quick peruse of the paper, but when it comes down to real work, I'd rather be sitting at my desk at home. Here there's background music, chatter, barista rattle... how is this supposed to help me concentrate? I brought with me the copy edit of my next book to check over, as I thought this might be the sort of thing I could do in a coffee shop, because it doesn't require the same level of concentration as writing, but even that I'd prefer to do in a comfy chair at home.

I can only think that those who do get all excited about working in a coffee shop miss the hustle and bustle of people around them. They want to be with people. And I can understand that. It's why I so enjoy giving talks and the like. But for writing I want peace and comfort. I only have music playing if I'm doing something brainless like the accounts - otherwise I work in silence.

So this isn't for me. But I'll still enjoy a read of the excellent i newspaper and finish my coffee before getting back to the grindstone.


  1. Different strokes for different folks Brian. I enjoy working on trains and in cafes. I find it easy to 'disappear' into my own world on such things - strange for an extrovert I guess. I also find that distractions such as music help me focus, but then again I rarely listen to the music while I work.

  2. I do enjoy working on trains and on cafes when away from home - that's different. But this was literally the coffee shop across the road - and I couldn't help but feel it would be better to take the 5 min walk back.