Most writers I know crave quiet. They’re most productive in a home office, or writing with their laptops in bed, or at the library.
I am one of those people who works best with noise around me. And caffeine.
At the moment I do almost all of my writing at Starbucks. I have my favorite table, the one with the fuzzy back seat right next to the fireplace. (C’mon. Admit it. You’re jealous that my Starbucks has a fireplace.) There are tables I won’t sit at, because they’re too much in the center of the room. I’d rather wait for one of the good seats on the sides, or join someone else at one of those tables until they’re too uncomfortable and they just happen to leave.
And then there’s the drink: iced venti skinny vanilla latte with three Splendas. A few times they’ve made the drink for me before I’ve gotten in line. Yep, I’m there that often.
The conversations swirl around me and I don’t hear them at all. I like the pleasant hubbub of voices. It’s like white noise, which I also sleep with. Some writers listen to music as they write, but I can’t concentrate like that.
Now, there have been exceptions to me ignoring the conversations. Every once in a while, there are conversations that are so interesting I have to eavesdrop. It’s… character analysis, right? The three conversations were: a first date–at the end she asked him to go to dinner and he said he had an early meeting the next morning–ouch!; a job interview (almost as awkward as a date); and a woman telling her friend that her daughter had died. I’m not trying to be flippant, I swear. It was just a conversation that shouldn’t have happened at Starbucks.
I suppose I should go to a funky local coffee shop instead. The problem is, I like the conformity of Starbucks. I’m instantly at home in any of them. I can find the best seats, relax into the conversations, and drink the right drink.
I may be a sucker, but – it works for me.