As a result of meeting several women in a book club, I belong to a conversational group, gathering monthly at various coffeehouses around town.
There aren’t requirements, other than to make the time (about two hours) for weekend coffee. Attendance of writers, students, artists, retirees, self-employed, and newcomers to town varies between eight to a dozen.
This face-to-face encounter allows the enjoyment of being outside my usual writing solitude. I really look forward to seeing who will show up and what we’ll discuss.
Conversations jump off the page. We network, applaud win-win events in our lives, share new or rediscovered goals-challenges-and dreams, debate politics, review movies-plays-and-books . . . blah, blah, blah. We’re not always on the same page—the banter over politics, current affairs, history, movies and television shows we like and don’t, books that inspire (or don’t) or economic theories—are just some of the roads we travel . . . all are viewpoints feeding my thirst for knowledge . . . firing up my curiosity.
The time I give to this Saturday coffee meet-up has lingering effects (other than exploring the city). I notice, the more I desire to write, the less I want to be a hermit. The cocoon I’ve created with my uncluttered writing desk and classical background music have become an easy trap. Hearing my own voice has become stifling.
Socializing with purposeful intentions allows fresh air to stir my thoughts—stimulate my creativity. I’m able to rest my eyes and ears onto new plateaus.
Solitude is absolutely important for a writer to string together a sentence. The stillness of uninterrupted quiet can’t be taken lightly. I can testify to trying to compose this blog on a Monday morning. Traffic passes my window, and my sister calls to hello and have a good day (I do admit it was nice to hear her voice).
Coffee isn’t just a routine with my meet-up group. The brew starts the day after meditation and before I head out the door. Hot, black coffee unlocks my mind for characters to speak to me, give clarity to who they are, and what they desire me to say about them.
I can’t testify that coffee (particularly black coffee) is for everyone. Some people prefer tea, alcohol, or just lemon soaked water. What I can recommend for writers is the small step of conversations with another person to help unlock the writer’s block and breathe life into patterns of isolation.