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  • Writing in cafes

    Posted by Rose Blakeney on 21 June 2023 at 15:15

    Yesterday, I tried that writing-in-a-cafe thing. It didn’t work. Couldn’t focus. Does anyone else find it helps? 🤔

    Peter Wood replied 8 months ago 7 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Libby Leyland

    22 June 2023 at 08:59

    I can’t write in cafes or anywhere I can overhear conversations. Other people’s words and speech rhythms displace whatever sentence and rhythm I’m trying to hear in my head. Music is a no-no too for the same reasons.

    • Rose Blakeney

      22 June 2023 at 09:04


      Just so. I won’t be doing it again. Good luck.

  • Libby Leyland

    22 June 2023 at 10:02

    It seems to be something every writer has to try – that and writing on trains and buses. Romance and practicality combined! I’m a boring person who has to sit at the same desk each day (or whenever) and not be distracted by interesting things in a cafe or beyond a window 🙂

  • Jonathan Longmore

    22 June 2023 at 10:33

    Just prior to reading this post I was trying to write, unfortunately my son came into the room and put the TV on and started watching Dr Who. I wouldn’t normally mind, but he’s 27 and should be working (he’s a self employed video editor/content creator….strange occupations in the 21<sup>st</sup> century!)

    I don’t think I could sit in a café and write, far too many distractions. Background music is ok, and sitting in the garden works for me, particularly in this weather. I guess that’s where I’m going now. The alternative is to watch Captain Jack rescuing Rose during the Blitz.

  • Ben Gould

    22 June 2023 at 11:31

    I’m the opposite, I find sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee – and ideally a nice bit of cake – and writing for an hour or so to be one of life’s greatest pleasures! Maybe because I work from home four days a week and don’t get out much without my six year-old in tow? 🤔

  • Katie Day

    22 June 2023 at 13:48

    I don’t make a habit of it but when I have tried working in a cafe, my noise-cancelling headphones help but I agree, I find it a distracting place to be!

    Alternatively, I’ve always liked working in my local library. Much quieter and less distracting.

  • sara hickmott

    26 June 2023 at 12:44

    I am a bit of a mix… I need some background noise to get my brain to focus (ADHD cliché I suspect but that’s me!) Have been this way since school and uni. Did all my exam revision with my headphones on, music blaring 😊 I can’t work with human noise in any form. Annoying when you hear of people writing novels on trains etc which for me would be ideal because I have a full time day job so have to fit it all in somehow. <div>


  • Peter Wood

    27 June 2023 at 15:05

    I love writing in cafes. I’ve done it since I started writing (about 13/14 and dodgy cod-suicidal/studenty-Joy Division inspired poetry at the time).

    I find myself getting into a ‘special zone’ where everything (noise/events/conversations) become white noise – to such a degree, there could be an armed robbery and I wouldn’t be aware of it happening.

    Then again, I can’t write when I’m listening to music which has lyrics, so I suppose it takes all sorts.

    Find what suits you and go with it. I’m still a pen and paper writer. I can’t type from brain to screen straight off.

    Don’t think that helps, but for what it’s worth.


  • Peter Wood

    27 June 2023 at 15:11

    Just done a short stint in my local park – mainly because I forgot my cash-card to go to a cafe – and it was quite nice, but a bit less comfortable. I tend to write in short 30/40 minute bursts too. Sorry, that’s quite enough – I’m sure I’m writing virtue signalling right now 🙂