A Cafe Note

3 11 2010

In the last three days, I did an experiment. Each day I went to a different location to write. I went with the purpose of noting energies, colors, people, interactions, temperatures, to see the influence on my writing: flow, inspiration, depth of thought, etc. Most people would say, “Why?” I guess I say, “Why not?” Now I am not naive. Obviously all of the mentioned barometers are affected by many variables inside me: amount of sleep, hunger, internal temperature, emotions, etc. I get that. Regardless, it was an interesting experiment.

Day 1: Local coffee shop – warm, inviting, staff said hello, brick walls, dark colors…it felt cozy. I sat down to write and it flowed. Inspiration flowed. Thoughts, chains of thoughts, words, images, it felt good…engaging, as if I was one with the paper… I spent hours there. I did what other writers have said. I bought several drinks. I invested in my being there. The staff invested in me as well. Several folks came by and engaged in the small talk. I felt heard, accepted, encouraged. It felt so good – inspiring.

Day 2: National chain bookstore – colors not so inspiring, cafe benches were cold, the cafe was noisy. The environment was definitely less personal, but there were others there who were writing, working, conducting business. It felt like a working environment, and somehow that was inspiring. The energy was conducive to work, maybe not create, but work. I again invested in the experience. I nursed the drink, perused books, and engaged with others around me. I put my fingers to the keys and watched people. Sometimes I watch people and just let my fingers follow my thoughts…I get out of the way. The environment, in my opinion, was less conducive to inspiration and deep, profound thought…and yet the words flowed. I felt energized and encouraged.

Day 3: Another national chain bookstore – warm colors, warm environment, but it was empty. It was me and another person there for two hours. There was no “thought” going on around me. There was no chatter, interactions, business. The environment itself had so much going for it and yet there was no life there. I purchased my drink as usual and began writing. There was little there. I took a few minutes to breathe and focus…and eventually I started to write. Interestingly, what I wrote about came out in spurts of anger, aggression, judgment, and negativity. One may say, well that is good, it is good to get that out, but, honestly, there was no inspiration or satisfaction in the writing.

Conclusion: It is good to write anywhere and everywhere. More than the warmth of the colors or the space to spread out, there seems to be inspiration in the energies and people around. I know there is purpose in finding solitude at times to write, but there is something about being inspired by the work of others that is going on around you; hearing their words, feeling their urgencies, feeling their engagement, feeling the energy of creativity…another writing muse.

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