How Not To Write in Cafes: Confessions of an Antisocial.

Don’t do it.

For he love of all things Didion!

I mean, I get it, there is this undeniable sex appeal. This intrique: scattering your notes across that old bistro set, the heady demitasse begging for your lips: what’s the WiFi code? Nah, I write longhand.

I fall prey to this allure now and again. Loading my satchel with pencils, paper, notes, books. Stalking southbound traffic to my favorite watering hole. Order a Gibraltar, catch up with barista, discuss life. By the time I’m sitting down to write, like an hour later, my coffees cold and the cafe packed.

Cling-clang cutlery. Blah-blah-blah business meeting. “Well I just don’t know about Johnny Depp anymore, why is he so… extra” “Girl, that latte art though.” “Third quarter” shakes head “third quarter, down, down, down.” Steaming, always grinding. Cling-clang. Blah-blah-blah.

Meanwhile my fingernails are digging into the wood of my pencil and just before I think I am going to… SNAP! the pencil breaks. Crickets. Everyone stares. The business man, the gossip girls, the mustache twirling hipster, even the pour-over pauses in its drip, letting out a hesitant sh*******t!

And I scurry home, past the bookstore. Down 39th Street, by the old folk artists coop that may or may not double as a junk yard. Climb the two flights of stairs to my apartment, counting the first, wooden set stapled with AstroTurf, and the second wooden set awaiting carpet that may never come.

I brew up a fresh cup. Sit down. And that’s when it happens…

When

I

Write

It

Out

Never again, I tell myself. But next week, I’ll try once more…


I’m curious: what’s your writing habit? What fuels you’re creativity? Boosts you morale? What get’s you going? The more self aware, the more writerly I become, I find that solitude is key. Quiet. Voiceless and calm.

How I used to be a travel blogger is beyond me. The world kept closing in…

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4 thoughts on “How Not To Write in Cafes: Confessions of an Antisocial.

  1. Of course, anywhere in public people will piss the heck out of you. I’ve tried pretty much everything and it always invariably ends sour. If you are antisocial to begin with, you’ll only end up an all-out misanthrope.

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  2. I started off writing on ruled notebook paper, small notebooks, and yellow legal pads – I used whatever I had. Once I started with a word processor, a dedicated machine, I never went back. I can write easier, and edit easier than worrying about if I was going to need to change anything.

    I write at home, in a dedicated space on a laptop. I use a notebook for other things, things that I will do outside of my home.

    When writing, I usually go with just getting the words down, no plot in a formal sense. I usually know where the story will end but how it gets there often surprises me.

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  3. Absolute quiet and solitude. Normally my office, with dogs napping at my feet. Only noise: their snoring. Whenever I tried to write in cafes, I ended up being too intrigued by the world around me to concentrate on anything else.

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