Writing Processes – Part 18: Starbucks and Inspiration

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

It’s been a while since I blogged in this series of posts, but I’d like to pick it up again.

In the last post (some time ago now so here’s a reminder) I talked about the importance of routine.  Part of my writing routine is a couple of early-morning sessions in Starbucks with the NetBook, before I go to work.  It seems to work for me.

The strange thing is, this is now so much a part of my routine that I actually get more done in that hour before work than I do when I have the day off and I endeavour to spend the day writing.  On average, I get 1,000 words written in that hour.  On a really good day, it might be 1,800.

But it has to be Starbucks.  I am never quite as productive if I sit in some other coffee shop.  I can’t really explain why.  Part of it might be that I generally don’t like coffee, unless it’s Starbucks.  And even then it has to be a single shot, with sweetener (or syrup) or I can’t drink it.  Here in the UK, we have Continental coffee chains as well as American ones.  Europeans generally like their coffee far stronger than Americans do.  I can’t drink coffee from other coffee shop chains – I find it too strong and bitter.  But Starbucks soya lattes, I like.  I also like their muffins.  My favourite ones were the ginger ones, which sadly are no longer available here.  But I’ve recently developed a fondness for their new chocolate hazelnut muffins.

So I sit there at 7:30am with my NetBook, my soya latte and a muffin, and as I eat the muffin and wait for the NetBook to boot up, I start thinking about where my characters are and what comes next.  By the time I finish eating, I’m generally ready to start.  Maybe it’s the sugar rush from the muffin, combined with unaccustomed caffeine (I’m generally a tea drinker).  Maybe the fatigue has something to do with it.  Because I have to get out of bed at 5:30am for my writing mornings, I generally start them somewhat sleep-deprived.  I have discovered that this seems to be fairly good for my creativity, particularly when I’m working on a first draft – because I’m writing before the ‘internal editor’ has woken up.

Or maybe it’s just that I’m a creature of habit.  Because these early-morning writing sessions are now an integral part of my routine, when I sit down in Starbucks with my NetBook and my coffee, I expect to write, and I do.

Whatever the reason, it seems to be working for me.  So I shall carry on crawling out of bed in what feels like the middle of the night in order to keep up my early morning Starbucks writing sessions.  The word count is testament to their effectiveness.

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1 comment so far

  1. peggylchambers on

    It sounds like a great process you have going there. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke!”


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