Environment

Every writer is different, but here’s what I look for in a writing space.

Brew

Primarily, this means coffee, but it also means beer. If I’m writing in the morning, I’d like an espresso and water. If I’m writing in the evening, a few beers can spur creativity.

In Denver, great coffee shops with liquor licenses are not hard to find.

Quiet, But Not Silent

Absolute silence does not help with focus. On the contrary, it is less creative than background noise.

That being said, that background noise can’t be too distracting. No TV shows. No movies. No nearby coffee-shoppers talking, regardless of the subject. No music with lyrics.

The best environment has many people working, a few people talking, and ambient background music.

WiFi

While internet access can actually be a distraction, it’s unfortunately important for the purpose of research.

Most often, I take a break from writing to consult the mighty Google for words that I either don’t know at all but I’m sure exist or words I do know but can’t think of.

As an example, just the other day I had to pause writing to search for the name of the space on top of a castle wall. It’s an allure, in case you’re interested.

Aesthetic

There’s a certain atmosphere that strikes me as creative. In general, this means a local, indie coffee shop, not your typical Starbucks, is more ideal.

I look for places with art on the walls. With brick walls and exposed ducts. Mismatched furniture. Baristas with lip rings and hair that hasn’t been washed.

Crowd

Finally, there’s the people at the coffee shop. Those that sit around you while you’re writing.

I prefer crowds that I fit into. Young individuals working on laptops. Cute couples talking in whispers. That kind of thing.

I don’t like tables pushed together full of elderly retirees discussing their gout. Teams of business professionals in suits. That kind of thing.

What environment is most conducive to literary creativity, in your opinion?

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