This was one of the ‘smaller’ adventures on my 12 in 2 list. I did it; it was okay, but I prefer writing at home. And only one person stared at me so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable! Perhaps I should have said “Read a novel in a café in Paris”. A clichéd goal, but one I’m sure I could try to do justice to!
The idea for my café writing adventure came from the concept of doctoral student Shut Up and Write sessions. I first read about them on Inger Mewburn’s blog, The Thesis Whisperer. Basically, it’s gathering with others to write alone but in a group environment, with supportive camaraderie during breaks. This made me want to try the idea of writing ‘in public’.
Despite being in a public setting, I found fewer distractions, particularly because I was offline and had nothing to focus on apart from writing—and drinking hot chocolate and eating carrot cake.
I’ll end this post with 6 of my favourite writing tips:
- Write every day. The more you write; the more ideas you’ll have—we condition ourselves to deliver results. And if you blog—write every day but don’t publish every day. Store some posts for those inevitable times when you need them.
- Write about what you love. The right topic will give you years of ideas.
- Nurture your creativity. Live life. Immerse yourself in experience. It all feeds your writing.
- Get into meditative ‘flow’. Calming, repetitive activities such as walking, housework or gardening, taking a bath, and napping, often allow ideas to bubble to the surface.
- Read. Read for pleasure and sometimes study what you read—what makes it work (or not).
- Spark off others. People are fascinated by their favourite topics and want to know about your experience and opinion on that topic. Don’t worry if it’s been written before—add your perspective. No matter how much is written about organising or long-distance hiking, for example, if it’s well written, I want to read it!