Writing in a coffee shop has become the quintessential writer’s cliché. The quickest way to broadcast the fact that you are not a writer (a paid one anyway) is to type away furiously as your iced latte sweats into the motherboard of your laptop. It’s like a huge cosmic joke that everyone who has had some measured success in the writing industry is in on. Professional writers know that writing isn’t done in a pretentious, mainstream caffeine-infused sludge factory. No, they know real writing happens in your office…or in your pajamas while lazing around in bed. Whatever.
I won’t deny it…I am one of those Starbucks writers. For some reason, I focus better when I’m surrounded by that soulless corporate décor. I love those friggin’ bonus stars that open the doorway to free refills on iced coffee. And yes, I entertain the notion that my fellow coffee aficionados (Take that, Maxwell House!) are looking at my open Word document and thinking, “Am I sitting next to a famous author? Should I ask her to sign that little cardboard slip around my cappuccino cup?”
I’m not that naïve, of course. I know they’re really looking at my antiquated computer and sneering, “A laptop? Is that a CD-ROM drive?!” Yes, me and my Dell-asaurus go way back…almost as far back as me and my flip-phone. I cannot describe the waterfalls of self-deprecation which shower over me as I sit, writing for free in a Starbucks with my horribly out-of-date technology in hand.
But, hey, I am writing. And for me…that’s a good day.