Friday, February 25, 2011

Again about café writing

I think I've mentioned café writing a couple of times. Here's another take on it.
I first heard about it in the dawn of portable computers, in the early nineties, in an article in a newsletter put out by a group of science fiction writers I belonged to. And I immediately loved the idea. Being in a public space with just the right amount of activity (not too much), and a view, is stimulating for the ol' grey cells.


Alex G wrote:
I have been trying to get my local writers circle to pull up tents and do just this, relocating from thay cold, stuffy windowless library back room to a local coffee shop where they can sit and people-watch and write.
Instead, they all elect to head off down the nearest pub for refreshments.

How can I get it past their heads that it is the view and the ambience conducive to writing that prompts me to choose a cafe as a venue, and that the only ambience that stuffy, claustrophobic windowless pubs maintain is conducive to vegging out and drinking rather than creating?
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25 comments:

ttl said...

Have you tried using the Mac Book Air 11.6" in this application? I am considering getting one for the purpose of writing on the move, and would like to hear if there are any issues with it when used this way.

Alex Greene said...

I have been trying to get my local writers circle to pull up tents and do just this, relocating from thay cold, stuffy windowless library back room to a local coffee shop where they can sit and people-watch and write.

Instead, they all elect to head off down the nearest pub for refreshments.

How can I get it past their heads that it is the view and the ambience conducive to writing that prompts me to choose a cafe as a venue, and that the only ambience that stuffy, claustrophobic windowless pubs maintain is conducive to vegging out and drinking rather than creating?

Honestly, it's as if I'm the only serious writer there.

Laurie said...

Alex, I wish you lived in New Paltz, New York.

TC [Girl] said...

Seriously, Alex? I'd be pulling up my own stakes and heading over there, MYSELF, if those 'Fuddy-Duddies' don't want to join you and...start my own 'Writers' Circle'...or not! Good luck! :-D

eolake said...

Alex,
I hear you. I always *much* preferred cafes over pubs.

TTL,
Funny enough, I just heard a new podcast where Tim Robertson (TechFan, MyMac) asked the same thing. My answer is that it that it's hard to imagine a better machine for the purpose. Full size keyboard, astounding screen, it's fast, and it weighs just a kilo!

It doesn't get hot either.
The key-travel is very short of course, but most can live with it, and some even prefer it.

eolake said...

Alex G,

You write fiction?

Anonymous said...

I write friction. I'm pretty accomplished in it.

But I intend to try some non-friction writing next.

eolake said...

Less friction is a good thing!

TC [Girl] said...

Eolake said...
"Less friction is a good thing!"

Well...that depends, of course...on how you're planning on using it: in a story line or...elsewhere! :-P

emptyspaces said...

Reminds me of a funny Family Guy clip...

eolake said...

Normally I like Family Guy, but that clip is offensive to my people.

ttl said...

Less friction is a good thing!

That was my reflective-Josie impersonation. Were you fooled even for one second? :-)

Well...that depends, of course...on how you're planning on using it: in a story line or...elsewhere! :-P

You mean like on a camera grip and such? :-)

eolake said...

Oh, I love Reflective Josie. Such inner torment, such beautiful conflicts!...

Anna said...

Hey, how did you get your writer circle ? I always work on my own... It's probably cool to have a circle of friends who write too, for sharing...

TC [Girl] said...

ttl said...
"You mean like on a camera grip and such? :-)"

Exactly! What else did you think I was referring to?! (Get a handle on yerself, ttl! ;-)

ttl said...

Hey, how did you get your writer circle ?

That's what I was wondering too. Someone should write a how-to manual: Writing in Circles.

ttl said...

Or maybe a blog: Captain Eo's Circle of Writing

eolake said...

You know, it's only recently I discovered there is a previous "Captain Eo". I've not seen the film though.

Jes said...

Eh, I don't think I could do it myself. I have to be able to walk around to get my creativity going, and that looks crazy if you do it in public. And even then, the idea of writing with people around. Eh.......

And I'm sorry, but that's got to be one of my least favorite scenes from Family Guy ever. I wish they'd stick to being fun instead whining about random crap.

eolake said...

Yeah. The few people I have seen writing in cafés have really not looked like they were doing it to be admired for it. (Of course it may be different in Hollywood or such places.)

Miserere said...

Normally I like Family Guy, but that clip is offensive to my people.

"Your people"? What do you mean "your people"?

Extra brownie points if you know what I'm riffing off :-)

eolake said...

... That might be several movies or shows where somebody is trying out being another color for a while.

Oh, Sarah Silverman did the most outrageous one about black-face. Good lord, what that woman does.

Miserere said...

In this case, it was Robert Downey Jr in Tropical Thunder, the film where, amongst other surprising things, Tom Cruise proved he could be a comedian.

Have a YouTube link to Silverman's piece?

eolake said...

No, I don't find it. It's from the second season of the Sarah Silverman Program. In another episode she defends licking her dog's butt!

Right. I enjoyed Tropical Thunder a lot, and yes, Tom was intense and funny. Loved his fake, huge hands.

alice said...

That was my reflective-Josie impersonation. Were you fooled even for one second? :-)

That was actually really lame. Josie is a bit more inventive than that. TTL is one of those people who likes to think himself intelligent but can only pull off the Comic Book Guy sarcasm as a cover for his lack of intellect and lack of ability.

This brings me to my next point. Anyone who is a "serious" writer wouldn't belong to a group like that. Anyone who has a chance of making probably wouldn't either, although it happens occasionally. I think Anne Rice belonged to one, but once she started getting published the others made it clear she was no longer welcome.

I suppose it's good that so many talentless people are doing so much bad writing, as eventually they might produce someone with talent.