I'm fortunate to have an office at home. Also a couch, a bed and a kitchen table. However! I get almost all my best writing and revising accomplished at coffee shops.
Something about the simple act of getting up early, getting dressed (including putting on actual pants) and strolling to my favorite haunt is enough to jumpstart my productivity. (Okay, the caffeine helps.) Here in urban San Diego, I'm fortunate enough to live within walking distance of several, though I'll sometimes venture to farther ones if I seek a change of scenery.
The freedom to use coffee shops as workspace is a real blessing, and I try not to take it for granted – especially as a former barista (my first job! I was 15), restaurant server, and cocktail server. That includes making my very best attempt to be a Gold Star Customer, i.e. not a jerk. Here's what I keep in mind.
|still life with agent revisions|
|or a change in the spelling of my name|
Tip well.I always tip my baristas at least a dollar, even for a $2 black coffee. Consider it a campout tax.
Don't sprawl.If there's a single-person table, and you're a single person with a laptop, always opt for that over the four-seater. If the coffee shop's crowded, share your table. Who knows, you might make a friend!
Be a pal.Stay mindful of your fellow coffee shop campers. Don't slam doors when you leave. (Totally a source of expletives in my manuscripts.) Keep an eye on other people's stuff if they ask. Make sure your headphones are plugged in, or the sound on your laptop's muted. Out of courtesy, but also because it's really embarrassing when you accidentally start blasting Robyn on Spotify.
Keep ordering.If you're staying longer than a few hours, order something else -- a cookie, a bagel, an iced tea, or better yet, an entire meal. Tip at least a buck on that round, too.
Don't be a slob.When you leave, dump your trash, put your dishes in the plastic tub, however your coffee shop does it. Push in your chair, wipe up any condensation or spills.
|at my favorite san diego coffee shop, lestat's. am there right now in fact|