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its just not my thing…

October 19, 2009

and this is why i can not write while at a coffee shop….

Im sitting in a café downtown sipping on the worst cup of hot chocolate ever. Not a good time to cut out the coffee.

I put away a bagel with cream cheese in about 1.3 minutes. Flat! All while staring out the café windows directly across to the fitness club. There is a young man fiercely doing sit ups. He does about 6, stops, gets up, walks around, takes a deep breath, sits down and repeats. Interesting. And his shorts are tight.

Back to writing.

Nothings coming. I need to focus. I cant seem to though. Its frustrating. Some days, I don’t have it in me to pull anything out from my past. Not because I don’t want to go there. Its just that im so detached from it. So….different now. I was recently told by a new friend, who is an author, that I need to give myself permission to become a little girl again. The girl from the past who im writing about. I think I can do that. But maybe not on Wednesdays, sitting in the café across from the fitness center.

Now the sit-up boy is gazing through the café windows. He so wants a bagel.

Two gentlemen just sat down next to me. They have no volume control. Or filter on their eyes. HELLO!!! I can see you staring at me! Sheesh!

Did I tell you I really like jazz music? I especially love to hear live jazz. There is something about it that speaks a whole different language to me. Each instrument tells its own story. Much like the Blues. However, the jazz that is playing over the speaker system in this café right now isn’t doing much for me. Maybe it’s the volume. Its surprisingly loud. The sax is screeching at me. I cant tell if its cheering me on or viciously upset with me! The brushes the drummer is using sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Weird.

Wow. I think the guy on the treadmill across the way might need a spotter. Im concerned.

Maybe this isn’t the place for me to write. Perhaps there is too much going on around me.

Living. Learning. And trying to be useful in the journey.

56 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2009 9:15 pm

    About the only time I can write (“write”) is after everyone else has gone to bed. And once my mind has settled down from the day. So, like 11:30. Which is why nearly everything I write has a sort of “zombie” quality to it.

    Oh, and I’d be a DISASTER at a coffee shop as well.

    • October 19, 2009 9:30 pm

      honestly, that is my best time too. but then the whole morning time comes around and i cant wake up.

      but seriously, when the writing moment hits, we must obey 😉

  2. October 19, 2009 9:19 pm

    My house is really quiet. You should come write here 🙂

    • October 19, 2009 9:31 pm

      woman! you know how much i would LOVE to!!?

      i think my heart just cried cuz i cant.

      • October 20, 2009 8:56 am

        awww… it’s better to smile at the dream than cry over the impossible. I’m never going anywhere, but it’s fun to imagine it anyway. 🙂

  3. October 19, 2009 9:24 pm

    i feel you. sometimes i can block it all out and get in a groove. sometimes i just can’t.

    i wish i had a cozy writing nook.

    • October 19, 2009 9:32 pm

      yah. coffee shops are clearly for those who like to people watch. have you ever made a conversation for people as you watch them talk from a distance? 😀

  4. Buchanan23 permalink
    October 19, 2009 9:33 pm

    Sounds like you do just fine writing at a coffee shop… Hillarious!

    • October 19, 2009 9:35 pm

      haha! BUT, i was supposed to be focusing on writing my book.


      but thank you, yo!

  5. October 19, 2009 9:45 pm

    Holy crap I love you.

    I love that you see life. And whether or not you want to write and should write, you don’t allow anything to get lost in the task. I love how you soak it all in. It only makes you a better writer.

    I’m proud of you!

    • October 19, 2009 9:46 pm

      i love that youre in another room reading this on your iphone and commenting on my blog. i just might shed a tear….

      i love you.

  6. October 19, 2009 10:03 pm

    ADD can complicate lots of things…..I imagine it’s no different with writing 🙂

  7. Heidi permalink
    October 19, 2009 10:35 pm

    I got ya! You probably thought that I was going to say my long desolate and somtimes foggy beach,with waves crashing against the rocks kind of morning clears my brain huh!!

    No that’s where I pray.

    For writing, I hate coffee shops because I never get anything written cuz I people watch.

    For my writer’s block, you’ll find this funny… My Safeway store. Never fails. When I am shopping for the plumpous melon I can knock out two paragraphs, also in the shower, or even in my car.

    I jest.

    Truly the best spot is in row 2 of my church. I love to write there. cuz When I take my eyes off of me and it’s circumstances and write about Him…………… it oozes…

    Keep writing girl.

    Your story is important.

    • October 20, 2009 7:01 am

      that is so cool that you write in your church. again, id be distracted in mine. actually, id freeze…they keep it arctic like in there 😯

      and like you…i get lots of ideas while driving or showering…its so strange, i know lots of people who do. i winder what it is about that?

      • Heidi permalink
        October 20, 2009 8:22 am

        I think it’s when we are relaxed the most and not distracted in our lives.

        Artic!!?!! You haven’t been in my church.

  8. October 19, 2009 11:21 pm

    It also depends on which coffee shop you go to. Like Downtown Grounds is pretty quiet upstairs. Less easy to stare out the window at Oz Fitness & people working out. :))) Plus, I’ve tried Brooke’s hot chocolate and it’s pretty yummy.

    • October 20, 2009 7:02 am

      true! that is the least visibly stimulating place to be. but…then i get side tracked with the voices downstairs while theyre ordering their coffee and such. yah…im learning my place.

      and yes, she makes a slammin cocoa!

  9. October 20, 2009 12:14 am

    People watching in a coffeeshop you visit for the sole purpose of writing out your story??

    Three little words:




    How would you deal with Kota people-watching (or playing drums) when he has homework to be completed?

    When something is important it is necessary for us to Focus – not give in to distraction. Keep the eyes on the prize.

    As Matthew Ch 24 reminds us – we NEVER know how long we’ve got so it is quite important not to waste too much time.

    Maybe once you have written your book you can then go to the coffee-shop and write another book about how you see life all around you there??

    First things First.


    • October 20, 2009 7:03 am

      “When something is important it is necessary for us to Focus”

      um. riiiiiight. which is why i dont go to coffee shops anymore.

      • October 20, 2009 10:26 pm

        ummmmm… was the coffee-shop (gym across the street, guys in gym, guys sitting next to you, bad cocoa, jazz music, etc, etc) the real problem?

        or is it that dissy thingy you ‘love’ so very much?? 🙂

        Focus Hun, Focus.

        Do you recall what i said a long time ago about not needing to get the final version word perfect first up? that a good writer does ‘research’ first and collects all the relevant stuff they need for their work/book together into a pile someplace before putting it together in a more readable form?

        No writer is capable of putting a finished book together at a fixed time and place bit by bit – the creativity generally will not ‘flow’ the way we (or a publisher) would wish it. But if we can loosely gather as much of the important details together then put them into some kind of order that makes sense, we may find the ‘work’ can then be done in a more structured manner by setting ourselves a suitable time and place to do the sorting and cleaning or polishing of our work.

        You have lived the life you wish to share with your readers, but it was a long time ago and you are very different now to the person who lived it. You still need to do a form of research/information gathering as a first step. That should make the next step ‘simpler’, and so-on.

        So – what DO you do when ‘Kota allows himself to get distracted when doing his homework?? 🙂


  10. October 20, 2009 4:47 am

    ooo…see i have to write somewhere there are a lot of people. The hustle and bustle of those all around me inspires me. If i am sitting alone in a room i have 0 writing ability. none what so ever.

    I put my headphones in and crank up the tunes (no lyrics) and write away.

  11. October 20, 2009 5:56 am

    Tam, you crack me up!

    When I was in college, I couldn’t study in the library. My friends thought I was crazy, but I just couldn’t do it. It was too quiet. So I had to look around. Or fall asleep. Or do anything OTHER than study. I don’t know. I think it’s better to figure out what works for you and then make that fit into your life if you can.

    Amazingly, that meant that I sometimes got up super early the morning of a test to study in my room. Somehow, THAT made sense to me.


    • October 20, 2009 7:06 am

      i do better late at night after everyone goes to bed. in fact, ive done some good writing sleeping on the couch cuz ive been snored out of my bed by brent 😕

      funny….when i studied at home for tests as a kid i HAD to have background noise. usually music was playing. i dont think i could do that now. i dont know why it changed tho.

  12. October 20, 2009 6:15 am

    I am better at a coffee shop…I have this uncanny ability to block everything out and often find myself getting up and being shocked at what is around me when I leave. Usually it is about 20 more people than when I came in. 🙂

    • October 20, 2009 7:07 am

      i wish i had that ability too. cuz, really, all the cool people write at coffee shops.


  13. October 20, 2009 7:19 am

    Maybe start with writing about what is going on around you? Then slide into your book…. that way when you’re done you would have a book about writing your book and have two best sellers… 😉

  14. October 20, 2009 7:31 am

    LOL! So funny. You remind me of me. I get overstimulated wayyy too easily, especially when trying to concentrate on writing, or homework. I have to be alone in a padded room. practically.

    also love the little exchange between you and brent on this comment thread! so cute!!! jealous.

    • October 20, 2009 8:13 am

      yay! someone like me!

      so what is your optimal writing environment like?

  15. October 20, 2009 8:06 am

    you are so funny Tam! I love that about you…your humor, that you are a people person. SO…focusing anywhere in public is probably not going to work for you. Plus you know too many people! THAT there can be a distraction.
    Have you tried free writing? and of course that icky word discipline, of course. I think we need to start a writer’s group. My mom did this online with about 6 people…it was amazing what she got done! A little accountability and group critique. Whatcha think?

    • October 20, 2009 8:14 am

      hmmm…would that be an online thing or real people in the same room? 😀 cuz i am, just recently, involved in an online writing thingy. which reminds me….i need to go over there and pose a question. thanks!

  16. bahava permalink
    October 20, 2009 8:52 am

    I agree! When it comes to writing, finding the “perfect spot” can be so hard….yet sometimes such a procrastination tool as well 🙂

  17. October 20, 2009 8:54 am

    Each week each individual assigns themself what they are going to write or complete…an excerpt, essay, chapter. (It could be a private blog) On the DUE DATE (ha!) each person submits their piece and each member critiques by a due date (like 2-3 days later)
    Am I making any sense?

  18. October 20, 2009 8:54 am

    So a smaller group would be best

    • October 20, 2009 9:39 pm

      i’ll have to give them some thought.

      you and i definitely need to get together tho!

  19. October 20, 2009 5:02 pm

    You are so stinking hilarious! I TOTALLY want you to keep on writing at the coffee shop- that one….at sit-up boys work out time too!!

    Maybe it’s not the right setting for your book at this time, but it sure does make for some fuuuuuuuny posts. Ya’ Know what HE says: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecel. 3:1 Enjoy your season of randomness and not getting much done, because I feel certain when the time and right local come it will just spill out on the pages and there won’t be any stopping it! Oh, and I can’t wait to read it.

    • October 20, 2009 9:39 pm

      YOU make me smile!!!

      thank you a million thank yous, lady 😉

  20. October 20, 2009 6:18 pm

    You gotta know that while I was reading this I was totally (in my mind) sitting in that courtyard between OZ and Diem (I’m assuming that’s where you were???) watching sit-up boy and the runner who needed a spotter and then also watching you in the coffee shop and the guys next to you. It was a weird thought sequence. 😆

    • October 20, 2009 6:20 pm

      Oh, and when you mentioned jazz I floated on down to Roscoe’s and saw Karen Lovely and then when you snapped me back from that I heard horrible elevator jazz music and pictured you glaring at the speakers in Diem.

      Yeah. I swear I don’t smoke crack. 😐

  21. Christy Polek permalink
    October 20, 2009 10:30 pm

    I think that you and I would get along very well.

    • October 20, 2009 10:41 pm

      i think youre right! lets meet 😀

      • Christy Polek permalink
        October 20, 2009 10:57 pm

        We will! I’ll let you know when I finally make it up to Oregon. =) It’s been on my travel list for a long time but other trips seem to keep getting in the way. But it will happen!

  22. October 21, 2009 7:59 am

    … I’m having deja vu… Have I read this before?

  23. October 21, 2009 8:51 am

    You call me! Let’s set a coffee date next week? Sean has surgery tomorrow, so this week will be full.
    You have my email, cell? LOL!

  24. October 21, 2009 1:59 pm

    Jazz rocks. Just sayin’…

    • October 21, 2009 3:17 pm

      oh yes it does! i love it!!

      when you and diane come to oregon someday-ohyesyouwill-we’ll take you to hear some great jazz 😉

  25. October 23, 2009 8:20 pm

    that’s so funny. i’m pretty distractable. and so darn extroverted. if there are people around, i want to be socializing. i was brave and tried studying for a class i’m teaching at a ‘bucks. i did pretty good. i brought my ipod and played the same some loud and on repeat so my music would inspire and not distract. and i made myself face a wall! lol i was surprised that i got some studying done. 🙂

    • October 24, 2009 7:54 am

      “and i made myself face a wall”

      like you were having a time out 😉 thats fabulous!

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