Sometimes You Have to Sit in a Coffee Shop

I like the song playing softly in the background and makes me feel grounded. Yes, the lyrics distract me a little as I sing in my head, but I love sitting in a coffee shop that plays music that I like. I only wish I had a cushy chair to sit in, but at least I have a coffee shop to go to.

I have been struggling with accomplishing anything today. It is partially the remnants of the evil crud that took over my life last week, partially the fact that suddenly my life has become busier than I planned in an overwhelming way, and partially the feeling that I have no ideas right now.

I was hoping to hang out in one of my new places of inspiration, a small art studio owned by a friend of mine, but she wasn’t there. I didn’t want to go home, because I would have to leave again in less than an hour to pick up Sarah. Sometimes home feels like a cage, especially this home that does not feel like home.

So I headed to the lone coffee shop in town.

I’m not going to lie and say and say that ideas poured into me as I sipped my hot chai latte and stared at my computer. That would be the dream. But the reality is interesting too, at least to me.

In typical fashion, because of my addiction to WordPress and e-mail (Hello, my name is Lisa and I am a blogging addict), the first thing I did was plug in my computer and checked my e-mail. Much to my surprise I found an e-mail from our realtor with an actually pretty decent offer on the property that has been hanging around our necks like a brick. I don’t want to jinx it and we still need to discuss, but compared to the crap offer we got last week, things are looking up.

Then I thought about where I write best. Sometimes I write best at home at my desk. But that was when my computer wasn’t portable. Now I have my cute purple mini Dell which travels everywhere with me, so that is no excuse. Sometimes I write best in a journal, but I haven’t done that for a long time. Sometimes I write best in the middle of the night, when I should be sleeping. Sometimes I write best in total silence, sometimes with noise. There is no regularity to when I write best–except one.

Coffee shops.

When I was working on my dissertation (for those of you who many not remember, I actually am Dr. Lisa or Lisa Kramer , Ph.D.) I followed this pattern. I didn’t have the portable computer then, so I would sometimes write at school on yellow pads and then transfer over, but usually I typed directly into the computer. Sometimes I would write in silence, sometimes I put reruns of MASH on because they wouldn’t distract me but made me feel less alone.

After facing the torture of the screen, I printed out the chapters and headed to a local coffee shop. I took over a table and edited, revised, scribbled, ripped apart only to return again to the computer. Why a coffee shop instead of a library? I needed to feel like I was connected with humanity. I needed to feel that there was a world out there, beyond theory and words, beyond analysis and interpretation. I needed music in the background and murmured conversations that only distracted if they were truly juicy, and then I would take a little break.

So today, I headed to the coffee shop in the hopes of finding inspiration. I don’t know if I’ve found it. But now I’m writing this rambling post.

Sometimes you just have to sit in a coffee shop.

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