Monthly Archives: November 2012

Start the Coffee!

Most of my rough drafts come find their way to the page early in the mornings. I’ll meet with a friend before the sun rises and settle in to a local coffee joint, often pressing our faces to the glass before they’re ready to open.

I’ve always felt that writing in the morning is important. If I write after a long day’s work, it takes me so long to turn off my mind and I’m usually exhausted or bogged down with house chores and the stuff of my life. In the morning, your mind is relatively blank, and that morning coffee really gets the creative juices flowing. French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac once said that caffeine was the cure-all for writer’s block:

“This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start-up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.” ~ from The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee

Of course, imbibing over fifty cups of thick, black Turkish coffee every day led to his timely death from stomach ulcers and caffeine poisoning. When it wasn’t available in liquid form, he’d pop a few beans into his mouth and gnash those teeth like a french press grinder. But the man could write. Coffee works.

(Balzac, seen here having a heart attack from all that caffeine.)
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