Perils of Public Writing


Yesterday at lunch I was writing a short story. Before I returned to work I began this post about how annoying people can be in public places. For many, coffee shops offer an inviting environment for writing. The cozy atmosphere, background music, and easy access to the nectar that feeds our muse keeps us returning despite uncontrollable personality conflicts with other customers. Maybe you’ve encountered one of the following stereotypes. Or perhaps you know one. If so, please give them a link to this blog.

Starbucks is my remote office.

I understand the allure of free internet and tasty snacks, but that’s no excuse to commandeer three tables for your multi-applicant interviews. Also, simple decency demands that you refrain from running a ream of paper through your 1970’s dot matrix printer, which was yesterday’s annoyance.

Speaking of free internet…

Headphones are the perfect gift for the loved ones in your life who enjoy streaming loud music over the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi.

Friends, relatives, strangers…

Lend me your eyes. See me banging furiously on my laptop’s keyboard. I’ve become a cliche, but when the fingers are flying, I’m a happy cliche. And did you notice how I didn’t close the lid when you began explaining the myriad ways your day had gone wrong. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just that I’ve finally hit the zone where fingers and brain have a direct connection. For writers blessed with a full-time job other than writing, it’s a blissful state. To experience it within the confines of lunch is pure nirvana.

Pretty women…

OK. They’re not annoying in the least, only distracting. And if there’s one thing writers need, it’s more distractions!