the social writers

November 23, 2013


This is a pretty interesting TED talk to me:



I am continually running into other writers who go to coffee shops to write. They do it communally. They think you will too. “Let’s get together at a coffee shop to write.”

To me this is a horrifying concept. Why in hell would anyone want to be surrounded by other people in a coffee shop while they WRITE?

To the social writers, though, it’s a foreign concept to need solitude to write — to the point some social writers have taken it very personally when I said there was no way I was going to meet them at a coffee shop to “write.”

I do not think the social writers believe me when I say I don’t write in coffee shops. My impression is the social writers think I am sneaking out to a secret coffee shop and just won’t share its location or go with them.

I guess you can’t blame the social writers. The social writers spend hours upon hours writing surrounded by other social writers in coffee shops full of social writers. They never see the other kind of writer. The solitary writer. The solitary writer is at not at the coffee shop.

And never will be.


PS: I had forgotten about this hilarious satirical piece from Hollywood & Swine till people in comments started talking about coffee houses liking or disliking writers taking up tables for long stretches of times. It is funny as hell:

Click That —> “Starbucks Bans Screenwriters From All 19,435 Locations Worldwide; Writers Guild of America Vows to Fight the Decision.”



7 Responses to “the social writers”

  1. To be honest I find that there is a time and a place for both. Ive written in coffee shops when I’ve needed inspiration or wanted to observe human behaviour, but solitude is good too

  2. Hello,
    Like you, I need solitude when I am working on my graphic novels. All my drawing tools will take up space and also I would not feel right occupying a table for hours over a cup of coffee. The shop must hate the practice of writers inhibiting their space when the space could be used for serving other customers.

    Or do those writers do right by the shop and order lunch, cakes and dinner too?

  3. First, in response to Mirror Miroir above: I read somewhere that a lot of coffee shops actually like the swarm of laptop workers they attract, because people who just want take-out coffee are more likely to buy it from a coffee shop that looks busy than one that looks dead.

    I actually do enjoy working in coffee shops, but NOT if there’s anyone I know there. I don’t want anyone to directly engage me in conversation or even eye contact. I just want the slight stimulation to my creativity that the coffee shop environment provides.

  4. scriptzee said

    I get too distracted around others to write. (I’m very social) I need to be isolated as well in order to write. I might be able to write in a coffee shop alone (might get distracted by people watching), but if friends are involved, there’s no way it would get done.

  5. Thank you Ms Sharon Rawlette for the information. If the shops like it, then it sounds like a win-win situation. If everyone is happy, that is nice.

  6. Max said

    There is a hilarious satirical article on that in HollywoodandSwine: Starbucks Bans Screenwriters From All Locations – Hollywood News

    I don’t know if WordPress is still tiffy about links in replies it is looking clean on this end but if the above link gives you grief copy and paste into browser:

  7. […] *i am mad dependent on unchanging physical pillars in my work environment, change or move furniture and it shoots a shock wave through so hard it can shut me down for weeks — this really confuses the :::social writers::: […]

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