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Roger Ebert Will Be So Proud of Me

Writers who set up their laptops at Starbucks have been getting a bad rap lately.  On Family Guy, Chris disses Meg by saying she’s like “one of those people who sit in Starbucks and publicly write on their laptops.”

And Roger Ebert tweeted very plainly, “You can’t really write in Starbucks[…]”.

That almost hurts. I write in Starbucks and other coffee-selling facilities. If it were just a few years ago, my need for acceptance by people I’ll never meet would force me to stay at home, drink Folger’s, and write no less than 100 pages per day. Lucky for me I turned 40 last August and magically no longer give a shit what anyone thinks of my writing habits. (Yeah, that’s why.)

It helps to know that they’re simply wrong. I’ve done a lot of writing in public, usually while consuming coffee but sometimes even decaffeinated tea. I wrote 90% of my master’s thesis in public because at the time, for psychological reasons I won’t get into right now, I felt textually paralyzed when I tried to write at home. I could type, not write. So I did what I had to finish the project.

Now, I can work at home, but the best time of day is morning, so it’s easier for me to shlep my laptop to a coffeehouse near work and pay them a few bucks to heat the water, grind the beans, and pour me a cup.

Plenty of writers I know (and probably writers you know, too) can’t work at home. They have to get out of their homes and away from the people they live with in order to write. The hissy blast of milk being steamed puts them in a zen state compared to the sounds of their kids yelling, their roommates having sex, parents or partners or spouses barking orders (or, just as bad, asking how the writing’s going), etc.

There are lots of good reasons to write at Starbucks. I listen to music and don’t care if anyone watches. And yes, I check my email, Facebook, and Twitter. Whatever the FG writers, Roger, and you may think of me for not only writing when I write, it’s all part of my process. I like to check in and then check out so I can get back to my writing. Why would I want to miss one of Roger’s tweets? Seriously, no snarkiness AT ALL, his tweets are some of the best stuff on Twitter. One day, when I announce the #publicationofmynovel to my tweeps, maybe he’ll RT me. And maybe he’ll read it and feel inspired to tweet positive emoticons about it, even if it’s a bk I was #amwriting 4 5 yrs @ sbux.

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One Response

  1. You’re not the only one, really. When that glorious day arrives for me, the acknowledgments page will contain a list of all the Paneras, Starbucks, local coffeeshops, gelaterias, and wi-fi spots where I camped out when I couldn’t write at home.

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