Friday, January 20, 2012


My writing group meets once a week at a space downtown.

Since the nature of the location where we meet is all about writing there are other writing groups who meet there including a group of NaNoWirMo-ers who meet year round and another group of kid lit writers.  

It usually works out that the other group of kid lit writers sits next to us.  I have to admit that when this happens my writing slows down.  They talk about books I've read.  

Sometimes I want to jump in on their conversations.

For example a couple weeks ago they were talking about The Wolves of Mercy Falls books by Maggie Stievater and I almost had to jump in and say that I was reading those and really enjoying Linger and thought it was better than Shiver.  

I think what makes it hard not to eavesdrop on the other writing group is that they are sort of the "cool table" of kid lit writers at the coffee shop.  From the names and activities that these people talk about I think they are probably in the nearby MFA program.  The fact that they talk about books we've read and writers we've heard of means we always have one ear on their table. 

I have to say that while I enjoy the discussions my word count takes a nose dive when they show up so this week I'm going to change where we sit and hopefully stay more focused on my own writing time.  

Do you write in coffee shops?  What interesting conversations do you eavesdrop on?


Barbara Watson said...

At home is the only place I can write. The only place. People watching and people listening is all encompassing for me so I cannot write when I'm in public. But I love gathering material for writing when I'm out and about. :-)

Meredith said...

That would distract me sooo much! I hope you find a better location soon!

Sarah said...

Yeah, sometimes I have a hard time turning off all those peripheral conversations as well.

Elodie said...

I currently do not write in coffee shops (even though I´d actually like to). I write in the train and I have to put my ipod on to ensure I don´t eavesdrop on all the conversations going on. They may not be writing/reading related but I still have a hard time blocking them out :D

Genevieve said...

My critique group meets at Starbucks. We don't actively write there, though, we just talk - A LOT. I have a feeling we may be the most interesting conversation there.

Kim Van Sickler said...

I mostly write at home unless I'm travelling. My distractions are my dog when he wants attention, and the Internet, which constantly sucks me into the blogosphere or Facebook. My critique group meets at Panera (now that Borders closed) and we make so much noise that we can't hear anyone else.

Jennie Bailey said...

I can't write in coffee shops because they're too crowded and I'm easily distracted. Oddly, though, I can write in crowded teacher lounge's and lunch rooms. For some reason, it's easy for me to tune the teachers out but not the patrons at the coffee shops!

Jim Randolph said...

I would just say screw it and join their group and find somewhere else to write. I write at home or sometimes in the morning at work if I get in early.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

My entire play is based on sitting in coffee shops and talking and listening. It's great. Maybe you could introduce yourselves and join groups some day?

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

You might introduce yourselves to them, and join in the conversation. But if you're trying to write, moving a distance so you're not so distracted probably makes sense. I sometimes wear headphones in public (even if I'm not listening to music) because it signals people that I'm "not to be disturbed."
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