Coffee Shop Writing: Millions of Starbucks Patrons Can’t Be Wrong!


PetsiPie Iced Chai Latte

 (Photo credit: snowpea&bokchoi)

Admittedly, I am not the coolest person in the world. I do not know the popular music of the day (“People still like Chumbawumba, right?”) and I have never seen, read, or paid any attention to anything involving “Twilight.” I do not know anything about Tom Cruise’s divorce aside from the fact that Cruise is involved in it.

In fact, it seems that I have not experienced many of the things that people deem cool. Amongst my generation, though, there seems to be one thing that every cool person does. Two if you count using one’s Facebook status update to complain about Facebook, but the one is much more prevalent.

I have never written in a coffee shop.

Every coffee shop I go into, I see dozens of people who look like me and talk like me. Instead of enjoying their coffee, though, they are tapping away at their MacBooks (they all have MacBooks) as if they are trying to disarm a nuclear weapon before the world is blown into thousands of tiny worldlettes.

I enjoy every last bit of my caffeinated beverage, sinking into the bliss that my drug of choice provides. All the while, these people continue typing. I watch as they all ignore their beverages, focused more on the evil contraption in front of them.

Staring, I think through the possible appeal that this locale could provide a person who is clearly writing something very important. It is noisy. It is dark. Some group of people will inevitably come in and yell about how much they love this establishment’s coffee before they dump five packets of sweetener and half a pitcher of cream into their perfectly flavored beverage.

Something, though, must be great about writing here. After all, dozens of Apple-toting hipsters cannot be wrong.

This was my thought as I found myself toting my Dell Inspiron (Already, I’m not cool enough to be here) in the front door of a coffee shop. I ordered my iced Chai latte (It is a manly drink. I don’t care what you say.), then had a seat. A few seconds later, my computer set in front of me and I was ready to type…


This is not a rare thing. I suffer from writer’s block roughly eight times a day. I began to stand up, ready to pace back and forth until an idea comes into my head. This is usually a great way to come up with an idea. It is like the pacing knocks something in my head loose and magically I am able to remember the English language.

As I stood up, though, I noticed no one else was pacing. In fact, no one was standing. Apparently coffee shop writing is sitting activity.

I set back down, feeling stressed. Places like this should have an area set aside for pacing. That would be great customer service. Instead, I would have to shirk my normal routine to get this written.

After about three seconds, I noticed something I had never noticed before: coffee shops are cold. They are freezing. I thought about asking if I could microwave my iced chai latte, though I am pretty sure that is considered rude.

There I sat, listening to an old Justin Timberlake song and wishing that a fire would break out just to warm my freezing fingertips. And I could not write a thing. Nothing.

People my age do crazy things. We get tattoos of obscure languages so that we can look deep. We listen to music that is far from enjoyable because it would be lame to say we like Willie Nelson. We grow moustaches because it is ironic. We think that the definition of ironic is a moustache we would not normally grow.

In my book, writing in a coffee shop falls into that same category. I would rather sit at a temperature controlled desk in my own home. I could choose my own music and pace at my own leisure.

I would not, however, get an iced chai latte. Maybe they will deliver…


31 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Writing: Millions of Starbucks Patrons Can’t Be Wrong!

  1. Haha, yet another funny view. I’ve never tried this either. I don’t think I’d get much done. I’d be too easily distracted by others. Writing is more of a private, quiet time.

    I don’t think I’ll ever view a moustache the same lol.


  2. oh lord, this is all so true. I too have a Dell Inspiron (an old-as-the-hills 1545), and I can sympathize with carrying that clunky piece of machinery anywhere. Especially into Starbucks. I feel inferior.


  3. Don’t members of your generation like to set trends? Maybe you will set an “at home writing” trend.

    Or you could just stick with writing good stuff and not freezing your butt off. Who cares what the Starbucks groupies do.


  4. I really like to order hot drinks and write in Starbucks while I wear a sweater so I can feel like it’s winter all the time. For some reason, it makes me feel more creative. Maybe because I’m pretending.


  5. I think your main problem might have been that there was a Justin Timberlake song playing in the background. Justin Timberlake songs are not conducive to a good writing atmosphere 😉


  6. I agree, every time I have gone to write at ny local coffee store nothing… Get home and bam you cannot get me away from my laptop. And don’t worry I don’t have a MacBook either.


  7. Clearly you were not eavesdropping on the people sitting next to you.

    Honestly, don’t get much writing done at coffee shops, despite my intentions, although sometimes I will write notes in longhand.


  8. Writing in any public place is tough… it exponentially raises the number of things I can watch instead of writing. People inside the coffee shop who are odd… people walking past who are odd… the ceiling fan… the coffee making person. I’m easily distracted enough without providing people-watching opportunity.


  9. I can’t write at Starbucks. I take my computer with me when I feel like sitting. I usually jam my headphones in my ears and listen to music on YouTube. Usually Kate Bush. I don’t even know why.

    I like the coffee shops with ratty couches and chairs. The ones with lamps and tables that look like they survived a war zone. I like to people watch too so sitting in a Starbucks and trying to be serious is just too difficult for me.


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