Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Writing in a coffee shop.

20160409_095245 (1).jpgNormally I write at home after the house has gone to sleep because it’s quiet and there is nothing else requiring my attention. I tend to do my best work late in the evening, I don’t know if it’s because of the minimum amount of distractions or simply because I  am a night person and naturally more effective at night. Recently though - for probably less than a month - I have been writing during my weekly coffee klatch on Saturday mornings.
Writing during this time also allows me to not have my attention drawn to other projects but quiet isn’t normally something you get here. There is background noise to the place, you can hear everything so you hear nothing. It’s all din and no substance. I am amazed at how helpful this background noise is in allowing me to focus and concentrate.

The problem with this background din is that it usually comes with a large number of people. As I have written about many times before, being in large groups of people is not my forte. There is a cost to trying to work in someplace this busy, this crowded. The rate at which I burn energy increases exponentially and since I rarely get to spend the rest of Saturdays in bed resting this isn’t a good thing.

That’s when got to thinking about a service I saw and used a long time ago but for a different reason. That service is called Coffitivity which emulates the experience of being in a coffee shop. They have different times of day, different experiences are available. At my last job, the wall of my office was connected to the single largest air conditioning unit I have ever seen, and it made a vibrating, obnoxious noise all the time. Sort of, but not completely, unlike, being on a ship with the engines droning all the time. The problem was one of frequency and vibration. The sound wasn’t pleasing or relaxing (like say, the drone of the engines on the NCC-1701-D USS Enterprise.) So I went looking for something to cover the noise and I came across Coffitivity then.

I enjoy the background din of people, plates, and silverware, there is something soothing about it. Especially when you don’t have to deal with the people that normally go along with this din. I hope that Coffitivity continues to expand and other sites pop up with other types of environments to experience. Say, a forest of the pacific northwest, or even someplace more remote like New Zealand. A beach, or even (for the winter months) the cicada songs from right here in Michigan.

Speaking of cicada’s, and hopefully not straying too far off point, This time of year is magical in Michigan. Between the evenings full of cicada - think sitting on your front porch with a coffee and a good book, being serenaded by hundreds or thousands of cicada - to the meteor showers every evening. It’s a non-stop show of peace and relaxation.

Now I can write at night, in the peace and quiet of my home, but with the pleasing background noise of a coffee shop. When you see some of the posts coming up in the next weeks, months, and years, you will see that my writing has become much more efficient, if not actually any better.   I am always happy when technology can be a boon to life as opposed to the frustrating experience it usually is.

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