Warning: Post may contain satire and was written tongue in cheek.
Coffee shops are the natural habit of the introvert writer. We venture out of our home, desperate for spectacular coffee and the appearance of wanting to interact with people. We tend to find the quieter coffee shops. But then, one day, our quiet, cozy safe place gets invaded… by extroverts.
We walk in after a few weeks away, laptop bag on shoulder, and the shop has no seats available. The cacophony of voices and laughter is like a dementor, sucking all creativity out of our souls. About to run out of the shop and retreat back to the privacy of home, a fellow writing friend waves you over.
Me: “Can you believe how busy this place is today?”
Her: “It’s been like this for a few weeks now.”
Me: “I guess I’ll get my coffee to go. There’s no where to sit.”
Her: “Here, sit with me. I promise I won’t talk to you.”
Those last seven words are a balm, soothing the distress caused by so many people in a normally safe, introvert-friendly environment.
Coffee in hand, muffin on plate, earbuds in, music sadly only muffling the sounds of raucous laughter from a nearby rowdy group dressed in athletic apparel, we attempt to write. Words, hoping to find their way out of the brain onto the screen despite the distracting environment, appear in spurts as our brains attempt to focus through the background rumble of voices. Finally, the sweet spot of creativity… the words flow. Interestingly enough, the shop began to empty, leaving only the introverted quietly pecking away at the keys on their computers.
This is a story so common, happening daily in coffee shops around the country. The struggle for the introverted writer is real. Please, extroverted coffee drinkers, if you’d like to read books in the future or watch movies and shows that were once screenplays, consider congregating elsewhere. If you walk into a coffee shop and it’s quiet and full of 4 top tables only populated by one person each with their laptops and giant bag (that are really just an unspoken “Don’t even think about sitting here” message), it’s a quiet plea from a group of creatives asking you to go down the street to the coffee shop & cafe that hosts open mic and was designed for talkative, boisterous folk like you. Leave our safe, quiet places please. The written word depends on caffeinated quiet to flourish and exist.
This was a public service announcement brought to you by Hermits United (We meet up every ten years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun, for a hermit*).
*from Doctor Who: Utopia (2007)
Insert obligatory David Tennant pic