Friday, 3 October 2014

Writing In The Wild

I'm a desk writer, a bed writer, a sitting on the sofa with the dogs writer. One thing I have never been is a cafe writer.

The idea of striding out into the wild with my laptop/notebook has never appealed, mainly because I'm a people watcher. Sit me in the middle of other people's comings and goings and I start guessing things about their life. Who is that woman in the bright pink coat? Who's she talking to on the phone? Why does she look sad? I start people-watching and never get anything done.

Today, I passed a local cafe and thought - maybe I'm missing out?

So, as an experiment, I went in, armed with a notebook, pen and story idea, and staked my claim on a table. The coffee was tasty, the ginger biscuits tooth-crackingly inedible, and I had a quiet corner to myself with only the clink of coffee cups and faint background chatter of two elderly couples to distract me.

Sometimes it takes a change in routine to blow cobwebs off the everyday. How can you discover something different if you don't give new things a try? Sitting there, out of my usual comfort zone, I brainstormed my next chapter and fleshed out a character biography (which may or may not have been inspired by a young woman I spotted, and the imagined life she would have if she lived in my story world). Yes, I still people-watched, but parts of those people imprinted themselves on the scenes I'm working on, and that can only be a good thing.

I won't be lugging my laptop out into the world anytime soon, but as a brainstorming location, maybe cafes aren't so bad after all.

It's a big world of inspiration out there and we're all explorers.
A notebook, pen and coffee is all we need.