February 22nd, 2006

Every day now I spend an hour or so in a local cafe doing some writing. Working at home it becomes necessary to go out into the world and see other humans, lest you forget that there is actually a world out there, full of people moving their bodies about, doing various things, interacting. I have become increasingly superstitious about my cafe choice. It has come down to ‘where I have come up with the most ideas in the past’, where I have felt the writing flow out of me in consistent waves. Currently I feel like I can only work at Mishka’s, having something to do with the energy of the place. It is a serious ‘working’ cafe, full of people focused on their school work, typing away furiously on laptops, each in their own little portable worlds. I didn’t like it at first. it felt cold, lacking intimacy. But for some reason that focused energy is fueling me, like a collective consciousness of sorts, everyone’s thoughts feeding each other, little neurons firing and sparking and infecting the one next to it. Sometimes I sit, just waiting for a idea to hit. When it does I am hurled into the throes of creative possession. There is a wonderful excitment that comes with it, of feeling like you are invincible, that you have captured that illusive “idea”, and all those people who are in their own little worlds, drinking their tepid coffee, have no idea what you have just done. Though they might be able to see it by the spark in your eye, and the shift of your posture.
An empty cup rimmed with cappuccino scum sits on the table in front of me. time to switch to a green tea,
time for watching the words flow out of that magic pen.
time for to sit and listen to other people’s conversations for a moment.
time for a reward of that cookie i was eyeing earlier.

Feb 22 2006
12:40 pm
bohemiangirl writes:

lovely keri…i know what you mean about “lest you forget there is a world out there”. i am new to this creative home business gig and i find myself indoors in my studio so much that i have had social anxiety at times. i am going to go to one of my favorite cafe’s today and see how it makes a difference surrounding myself with other bodies, with neurons firing and sparking. i think working alone so much…i get far too deep into my head. there is a time for that but not every day! thank you for this, for inspiring me, as always.

Feb 22 2006
12:46 pm
Shari writes:

wonderful post, kerri. I always enjoy reading and take something with me each time. :)

Feb 22 2006
1:40 pm
fern writes:

I love to hear about cafes and coffee houses and how and why they “work” for people…any more stories to tell?

Feb 22 2006
1:52 pm
Rhonda Hull, Ph.D. writes:

Oh my gosh! How wonderful to have found you! I have longed to set free again the college art major and deep writer that was long ago supressed by shoulds and have tos. Your writing, the image of the ‘cup rimmed with cappuccino’, offered me a way of making sense of why I sometimes sit in a noisy coffee shop rather than in the stillness of my home to write. Infusing your art into your blog has inspired me to color out-side the lines of life. I will delight in posting you on my blogsite at thecenterofhappiness.com! Joy filled my heart by the presence of your images and authentic self. And after all, our own happiness is the greatest gift we can give another.

Feb 22 2006
3:33 pm
Anja writes:

You’re so right about the getting out into the world thing. I’ve been working at home, by myself, all winter and now I have to make myself go outside. I need to change my habit, find the right cafe perhaps… Or just go.

Feb 22 2006
8:45 pm
Kerilyn writes:

I am so jealous that you have the time to take an hour a day and sit and enjoy life.. I know that life gets hectic for you.. for everyone.. but ah.. hearing that your enjoying a coffee shop… I’m so jealous!

Feb 23 2006
1:45 am
donna writes:

My guilty pleasure spot is Panera – free wireless, great bread, wonderful soups and salads….
And nobody cares if you sit there for an hour and read or write or journal… the people watching is good and there’s usually classical or jazz music…

Feb 23 2006
10:50 am
RacheL Ho writes:

My yellow painted bedroom is my little inspiration spot and just the place to relax and unwind. I would wish to visit one of those quaint cafes in the future! Our local cafes in Singapore are crowded with people drinking coffee, laughing and talking loudly. Pretty hard for me to concentrate!

Feb 23 2006
1:55 pm
Isahrai writes:

I’ve lived in many great coffeehouse cities and now I live in a foreign country, in a small town, where the cafe quotient is nil. I work from home and try to recreate that experience – I have a plush couch in my kitchen and I sip coffee while journaling there every morning and also most nights. But still… it is lacking the hum of other brains working nearby, the hiss of the espresso machine, and the gigantic cookies and gooey apple crumb cake that I would reward myself with once a week.
Last night, a dear friend and fellow ex-patriate and I spent over 2 hours recounting our favorite coffeehouse experiences and trying to figure out a way to bring that world of caffeinated inspiration to our tropical paradise. Yes, we’re greedy and we want both the beaches AND the cappuccinos!

Feb 23 2006
9:00 pm
Anna writes:

I’m so grateful to see this in a concrete form! In three months, I’ll be flying 2000 miles west, moving to Sacramento to live at a retreat center. My days will be spent working in the mornings, doing yoga, and writing a book~ and I know that a lot, maybe *most*, of that writing will be done in cafes. There’s something about the buzz that necessitates the centering of your own energies and intentions~ something I can do in a cafe, but very rarely at home… And I love the idea of finding *my* cafe, a place where I feel really welcome and calm and energized all at once! Thanks again~

Feb 23 2006
10:56 pm
Swirly writes:

I can see you among the crowds, with stars spinning above your head…

Feb 24 2006
9:17 am
Kelly writes:

ahhh… you are so right about how a certain cafe makes all the difference. There should be a web directory to that effect – something like, “cafes conducive to creative work; search by zipcode” :-)

Feb 24 2006
12:45 pm
Lauren writes:

I’ve found this place of inspiration on the Go train here in toronto. It feels almost like you are being a bit sneaky.

Feb 24 2006
4:59 pm
marco writes:

coffee, little cake and your writing
you must live in paradise
very well written and very inspiring

Feb 28 2006
6:15 pm
benji Wang writes:

`Thanks for that. I really had a vivid mental picture of you straigtening up slightly with a spark in your eye.

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