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I might as well turn in my writer card

August 7, 2012

As I write this, I am in the process of doing something I never thought I would do. I’m giving up…coffee.


I’m the guy who once wrote a blog post called Coffee, the Literary Elixir. I’m the guy who can drink Agent Gibbs under the table.

I drink more coffee before breakfast than Agent Gibbs drinks in a week.

Coffee is part of writing. And not that floofy dessert coffee you get at the Starbucks stand at Barnes and Noble, either. I mean coffee, the beverage where you filter water through ground up beans and drink the result. Not with crushed ice or whipped cream or little chocolate shavings. It’s a simple beverage to make. You take a cup and put coffee in it and give it to me. (The guy at Dunkin Donuts still doesn’t get the concept.)

Coffee served as God intended.

 And I’m weening myself. I’m doing this three-week cleanse thing. It’s got a very strict diet and when you do the cleanse, you have to limit yourself to what’s on the diet. Among the things that aren’t on the diet are Panera cinnamon crunch bagels (or any bagels for that matter), Pop-Tarts, and any food or beverage featuring a drug, such as beer or coffee.

In order to prepare for this event, I’ve gradually switched from regular coffee with caffeine, the fuel that keeps capitalism running, to decaf. And once the switch is complete…no coffee.

One of the reasons for the switch is that I’m sleepy. A lot. And by changing my food choices, I hope to change that. And by resetting my body, I hope to make a permanent and lasting change in my food choices. That will make me less sleepy. And that will cut down on the amount of writing time I spend slipping in a fifteen minute power nap when I ought to be working on revisions.

I suspect there may be some decaff in my future. But as of now, I am bidding a bittersweet (with an emphasis on bitter, if I’m drinking Starbucks) goodbye to a twenty-five-year love affair.

Can you even be a writer if you don’t drink coffee?

  1. August 7, 2012 6:59 am

    You’ll make, it! I promise. I had to go off caffeine almost 20 years ago, not just coffee, but all caffeine. Ice tea was the hardest, well and chocolate too! But you’ll make it, even though you love coffee and will always want it, you CAN live without it. Just remember it’s a good thing you’re doing for your health and body. Yeah, right. I know! Maybe you could, once you’re done with the cleanse, cut back to once a day or so. Then you still get your fix, but don’t overdo it! Congratulations on your efforts!

  2. August 7, 2012 11:12 am

    Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh….Oh

  3. August 7, 2012 12:38 pm

    Chris, you have my sincerest condolences..,

    And I hear ya about Dunkin. Tell them you want nothing added to your coffee, they look at you like you’re crazy.

    On another note, have you tried rooibos? Aka red tea. Caffeine free. That’s what I switch to in the afternoons. Well, that or green tea, but green tea usually has caffeine.

  4. Chris Hamilton permalink
    August 8, 2012 12:32 pm

    I wrote this a few weeks ago. I’ve actually done pretty well once I got over the initial crash. Not even any decaf for the past three weeks. I did the reset thing and they recommend another four weeks without. At that point, I’m not sure if I’m going back to decaf (definitely not to the regular). I have to say, I’m less sleepy without the coffee than with. Thanks for the condolences, though.

  5. August 10, 2012 8:04 am

    The prolific French writer, Honore de Balzac, complained about stomach pains from coffee but wrote odes to its miraculous powers and swore he could never have witten all that he did with out the black brew.

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