Today I've decided that I need a change of scenery. So here I am, at my local coffee shop, with a 12 ounce mocha, a pumpkin scone, and my laptop. I'd probably be happier if I had a lemon poppy seed muffin, but we can't always get everything we want.
I know writers who do all of their creative work at a coffee shop. And have to say that I think the image of author, hunched over a computer keyboard at a corner table is an appealing one. I'd love to be able to be one of those authors who lists her favorite barista in her acknowledgments. It's just such a lovely scene.
But I'm afraid I suffer from a guilt complex. I'd feel guilty spending money every day on coffee I can make perfectly easily at home (I used to be a barista, after all). I'd feel guilty sitting at the table all morning with just one coffee drink.
Not only that, but I'd have to be way more productive to justify the cost.
However, I do reserve the right to a $4 coffee when no other options are available to me. When I have been at home for 4 days straight, pounding away at the same 5 pages, and my arms start to ache from sitting in the same position. When I start talking to the dog, as he snores in his basket beside my desk. When I begin to wonder if maybe my time would be better used cleaning the toilet than writing the same 5 pages. That is when I get over my guilt complex and spend the day somewhere else.
And I find that that change scenery, the simple act of sitting at a different table, and listening to different sounds, can actually make a difference. I've had scenes just flow from my fingertips as everything around me disappears and my coffee grows cold. I've had words and sentences appear in my mind, perfect and indisputable. I've had characters speak to me in voices so clear that it's more like taking dictation than writing dialogue.
Plus, this is probably the best mocha I've ever had.