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Coffee, the literary elixir

March 15, 2010

Usually on the weekends, I’ll write most of the blog posts for the week. Most of the time, that involves me sitting in front of the laptop in my pajamas. With a hot cup of coffee beside me and more in the pot for refills.

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What is it about writing and coffee? Go ahead and Google it. Just enter the words coffee and writing and you’ll get a list of more than 74 million hits. If you Google the word Yankees, you get only 18 million hits. Google Mets and Yankees together and you only get 7 million hits.

When JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter, she did it at a coffee house. Not a McDonalds. Not a library. A coffee house.

When I attend my writers workshop every other week, an important part of the pre-workshop ritual is the procurement of coffee. Seven people attend. Three of us always have coffee–though my coffee, coming as it does from Dunkin Donuts, is superior to their coffee, obtained from Starbucks.

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Interestingly enough, the image above comes from a New York Daily News article that coffee can lead to poor decision-making. Next time I’m critiqued, I’ll remember that excuse. Of course, I’ll leave out the part in the article that says coffee after drinking leads to poor decision-making. I don’t write after I drink. The results are typically telling.

My coffee is perfect for a manly writer whose story includes guns and stuff like that. The recipe is quite simple, actually. You take some coffee. You put it in a cup. You hand it to me. No cream. No sugar. No ground-up ice or whipped cream or sprinkles. No straw. For some reason, the people at my local Dunkin Donuts don’t understand that people actually drink coffee that way. One donut professional actually said to me, “No, really, it’s no problem to put some flavoring in.”

Yes, it is a problem. I don’t want any. Just coffee. In a cup. With no dessert added.

If God had wanted chocolate, vanilla, and ice cream in coffee, He would have inspired someone to create a bean that has that stuff.

If you’re writing at night, that’s why there’s decaf.

What about you? What do you drink while you’re writing?

  1. March 23, 2010 12:57 am

    Writing in the morning — coffee.

    Writing in the afternoon or evening — herbal tea.

    Because caffeine after lunch will keep me up half the night and really, what’s the point of decaf coffee?


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