What is it about this place that lures me in time after time? It’s not the coffee – I can get that any time I want at home for way less money. But that requires effort. Effort, and my home-brewed coffee doesn’t come in a swanky-looking cardboard cup with a lid and cardboard heat shield. Something about that cup just makes it taste better. Really. But I digress…
Starbucks always reminds me of that movie You’ve Got Mail. Tom Hanks telling his associate about the sale of ‘overpriced legally addictive stimulants’ in his bookstore. Maybe that’s why I always associate Starbucks with books (well, that and the fact that every Barnes and Noble has one…) Something about the ambiance – the smell of brewing coffee and warm bagels, the sounds of cool jazz softly drifting through the air, clicks of keyboarding businesspeople trying to close the latest deal, soft conversation and the hum of fancy-coffee machinery – just sucks me in. Makes me feel inspired. The latest copy of the New York Times doesn’t help either. I’ve always had a secret desire to live in a tiny Manhattan loft and write, so just reading the paper brings me closer to that imaginary life I covet.
I always feel like writing when I come here – even if I just sit on the patio and watch the traffic go by, watch the people and listen to fragments of conversation. It never fails – something pops into my head and I just have to write it down. And one thought leads to another. Fueled by caffeine, I end up composing pages and pages of stream-of-consciousness writing. For my eyes only. That’s OK. Yes, I dream of being a writer and yes, I have spent time in these havens of java composing pieces for others’ eyes. In fact, this morning was one of those times. I had to stop because I felt a bit blocked – the lovely older man sharing my table wanted some conversation with his coffee, and I happen to share his daughter’s name, so I obliged. But had to stop on my ‘work.’ That ‘work’ that feels like fun. Isn’t that what a dream career is supposed to be – something you love so much that work feels like play? I’ve always thought so.
Unfortunately others have to find your work interesting and worthwhile in order to make writing lucrative and, with the exception of these posts, I’m way too insecure about my abilities to share any personal stuff – yet. One day I’ll get there. But if I’ve learned one thing from The Artist’s Way it is to give myself permission to be a beginner and write pieces that are bad. That has been a big step for my Type-A-ness to take. I like to do it right and do it well – the first time. So I’ve taken big steps there. Really.
So I will continue to consume my stimulants – of which caffeine is only one. To me, the music, smells, people and sounds are just as enriching as the java (which happens to be top-notch yummy warmth.)
Everyone needs inspiration – even us moms who are thankful that all the kids got out of the house fed and fully clothed this morning. Think about this today: What inspires you? People? Places? Things? Indulge yourself and find your inner Starbucks!