A busy cafe on Cook Street in Victoria, BC, Vancouver Island. This cafe has been a host for myself and award-winning author, Jacqui Nelson, for over three years now. The cafe has a great energy that sync’s with our creativity. Many other people come to the coffee shop to hold meetings about photography, art and of course other writers typing away stories that need to be released onto the page.
Besides this one particular cafe I have a three other places that I find myself gravitating to write.
- My Writing Room: Stephen King shared in On Writing about a writing space. The space can be humble, and it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut. The closed-door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
Exactly! This is what I thought of when I first read this page over fifteen years ago as I sat in the passenger side of the car while my partner at the time was driving from Jasper to Edmonton one afternoon. The magical mountains were passing me by as Mr. King evoked my creativity. Even before that moment, I had a feeling of my own writing space. I was privileged to have some great places to write when I was younger. My family had a finished basement suite in the duplex we lived in and when I walked down the stairs to the suite I pretended I was going to work to write, funny thing, I was writing and it wasn’t work at all. I wrote my first dramatic romance story down in that basement from a broken heart at the early age of fifteen.
2. My Bed: There is something about being in my bed wrapped in my duvet and pillows all around me. I wrote my first 3-day novel contest in bed. I wrote an off beat romance based in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the 2010 Hurricane Earl. I was living in Campbell River, BC at the time but I tend to listen to Nova Scotia CBC and I had no idea what I was going to write about when I signed up for the 3-day novel contest only five days prior to the start of the contest. I was sitting in my writing room working on a version of the first memoir that I wrote about my family and I turned on the radio and heard the weather for the Halifax area as I listened to the descriptions of intense rain and wind, I saw a flash of a tree top smashing through a window as two characters were in a heated debate about I have no idea what, but it was something I wanted to know. There came my idea of a love story within another story. I sat myself in our bed and kept the Nova Scotia radio station on from midnight on the Friday night until 11:59pm of the labour day Monday evening.
My story may have not been novel worthy, but it was the first time I sat down and wrote a 50k story from start to finish in three days, in bed. Okay, I did move to my writing room once in a while, but there was something about being cosy under the covers writing a romance novel. I wondered if Danielle Steel wrote in bed?
3. Other Coffee Shops: I am very loyal to a particular coffee shop but I also linger around other cafes and diners. Julia Cameron shared in the Artist’s way, if you are going to write in a coffee shop or restaurants please be respectful, buy a coffee and lunch to show your commitment to not only the writing but the place that hosts your creativity being taking up a seat for more than two hours. I fully agree.
I have been in many cafes over the years, and not just Starbucks because that’s what non-writers think. Writers lined up with their laptops and half cafe, half whip capa/mocha/lattes. I’ve spent some afternoons in a Starbucks and a green tea is my best friend as I watch people sipping coffee and typing away.
I like a hole in the wall diners that have virtually no one else in the place. I love to people watch and sometimes that helps the writing process, but sometimes I like to be alone but not at home. I know that may not make sense, but it works for me. When my server brings the order and we have an understanding, they leave me be as I hang out and write. I always leave a generous tip, that’s karma my friends.
Until next time, keep on typing. . . .