By Milli Thornton
Charlotte Rains Dixon was talking about her habits of procrastination after promising herself a writing session. And about what works best for her to get motivated to just GET STARTED. You know . . . that crazy cycle where you forget how enjoyable the writing is until you force yourself to just start? And then you wonder why you put it off?
At the end of her post Charlotte posed the question: “Do motivational phrases and ideas encourage you or annoy you?” Nothing was coming to mind as a general rule, so I decided to think about my specific situation right then.
I wrote this in Charlotte’s comments section:
And that’s what I did. I went straight to the kitchen and made a cappuccino on our Krups machine using freshly-ground beans.
I’m procrastinating right this very minute about starting a writing session. I know why I’m procrastinating this time. Because it’s going to be some journaling. And it’s going to delve into a painful place.
So, what would motivate me to get started? LOL! A cappuccino made with freshly-ground coffee beans. That never fails. A good cup of coffee always calls for either good conversation, a good book, or some writing.
Then I sat down and journaled, but it wasn’t painful like I assumed it would be. Not because of the caffeine hit this time—though there’s nothing better than the cosmically-inspired feeling I get from drinking espresso—but because GETTING STARTED led me down an unexpected trail.
Instead of venting about the old wound that had surfaced in a dream the night before, the names of my godparents flashed into my mind. I wrote a letter asking for their help, even though they’re long dead. I know that godparents make a promise to look after their charges spiritually (right? isn’t that the tradition?) so I figured they would still want to help me, even from the spirit world.
If I hadn’t read You Can Do It! (thank you, Charlotte!) and thus identified my 100% surefire way to get started writing, I might have missed that special experience. So this is an ode to coffee.
Coffee, my loyal writing companion who never gives me writer’s block, only erases it; who never critiques my writing, only helps it flow; who fills me with the nectar of inspiration and provides me with coffeehouse adventures too.
This is also an ode to our old faithful Krups machine. We bought this Krups five-and-a-half years ago for five bucks at a garage sale. What a bargain. We do fantasize about having a proper, expensive (hopefully Italian) espresso machine. But until the day we’re rolling in bank vaults of coffee money—visualize Scrooge McDuck’s nephews all grown up and addicted to espresso—you can’t beat this old workhorse when it comes to producing a consistently good cup.
One side of the Krups is for making espresso and the other side is for brewed coffee, which I never drink. I have never enjoyed the taste of brewed coffee. My preference is the breve, which is a latte made with half-and-half. Brian and I just call them cappuccinos because it sounds more romantic.
I also cherish our pair of red “feng shui” coffee mugs. I have no idea what the Chinese character embossed in gold foil on the side means, so I just think of it as good writing feng shui.
What’s your coffee and writing love story?
Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of Unleash Your Writing! and the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli also blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse.