As a self-employed writer, I’m a big fan of writing and working in coffee shops for a change of scenery. I absolutely love getting to work from home, but sometimes I start to go stir crazy when I’m in my apartment for too long.
On top of getting some fresh air and the chance to make sure I still know how to socialize properly, heading to a coffee shop gives me a jolt (no pun intended) of creativity.
In fact, it’s a common stereotype that writers will spend hours at their favourite coffee shop producing their next masterpiece. Obviously not everyone with a laptop in a coffee shop is working on an amazing piece of writing - I catch Chris reading the most recent sports articles all the time - but it’s a proven trick for a lot of people.
Here are five reasons why it works so well.
1. Different atmosphere
First of all, moving yourself out of your usual surroundings gives your brain a nice little shake up. It loosens up your thoughts, which will trigger ideas and angles you wouldn’t have normally thought of. Being in a different atmosphere gives you that little zing you need to think of new ideas and get writing.
2. Ambient noise
Coffee shops are filled with all kinds of sounds, like the espresso machines running, chairs scraping on the ground, and the shuffle of everyone around you. There’s just enough noise to keep your brain stimulated, but not so much that you get distracted. This ambient noise has been proven to help people concentrate better, so much so that you can now find apps and soundtracks that will play coffee shop noises for you wherever you are (like Coffitivity).
3. Conversations to listen in on
As you’re working, you’re going to overhear bits of conversations going on around you and this becomes excellent material for your writing. As you’re brainstorming and writing new blog posts, these conversations could turn you on to new subject ideas or angles to work with.
4. Fewer distractions
I know it seems weird at first, but there are actually fewer distractions at a coffee shop than at home. At home you’re tempted by things like your television, books to read, or chores to do. When you’re at a coffee shop, you’re taking all those distractions out of the equation. All you have with you is your laptop or your notebook, which means all you can do is write.
5. Delicious drinks
Almost any activity in life is better when you have a tasty drink on hand, and writing is no exception. Whether you prefer a bold coffee, an elegant London Fog, or a fancy-schmancy latte that has a dozen customizations (extra-hot soy half-sweet vanilla Earl Grey tea latte for me please), a good coffee shop has you covered. Enhance your writing atmosphere by having drinks at the ready - drinks you don’t even have to make yourself. Bonus!
Since I usually head to a coffee shop at least twice a week to write, it’s become a bit of a routine for me. As soon as I sit down with my fancy-schmancy tea latte and open up my laptop, my brain automatically knows it’s time to write. I get ‘in the zone’ faster and make bigger progress on my clients’ copywriting and my own writing projects.
No matter what kind of writing you’re working on, all five of these coffee shop benefits can work for you. If you’re struggling write your next blog post or update your copy, I suggest heading out to a local coffee shop to get some writing done. Find a comfortable spot, grab a beverage, and let your brain turn over some new ideas and get inspired.