I spend a surprising amount of time writing in cafes. I like the background white noise, the free heating/air-conditioning (depending on season), and the ability to be alone whilst not alone. The easy access to hot drinks is a nice bonus.
My working relationship with cafes isn’t a new thing. When I was a university student, I used to study in cafes in the breaks between lectures, spreading my flash-cards and notes out to cover an entire table and making one hot chocolate last for several hours. During my overseas experience in the United Kingdom, I outlined The Lord of Stariel in the Starbucks in Tooting Broadway, London, and wrote the first draft in various cafes around Oxford.
Consequently, I have a lot of Opinions about what makes for a productive cafe experience. My list of requirements, in order of priority, are:
- Large enough that you don’t feel guilty hogging a table for hours (and also so it’s not just you and the barista awkwardly hanging out together)
- Good table size & comfortable seat height
- No loud music or children
- Warm (I get cold easily)
- Long opening hours
- Good coffee
- Cheap and diverse cabinet food
Coming soon on the blog: reviews of Wellington cafes from a writing perspective.
5 thoughts on “Optimum Cafe Conditions for Writing”
I spend HUGE amounts of time writing in cafes! I love a lot of the same things as you–alone without being alone, access to hot drinks, etc–but I bring my headphones and listen to music. Usually soundtrack stuff like Pirates of the Carribean, Clash of the Titans, Doctor Who, etc; but often KPop and other more upbeat stuff, too.
If I’m stuck or can’t get in the groove–I go to a cafe.
Cafes are magical productive spaces! Those are some excellent soundtrack choices (My brain is now singing DOO-WEE-WOO from the Doctor Who opening credits), though I find my ears tend to switch off anyway when I’m concentrating.
I tend to type in time with the music, so I’m usually especially productive when I’m listening to P.O.C. soundtracks–all those trumpets and horns and drums! 😀
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