Writing and Coffee

When speaking with people who like to read books, I’ve talked to a lot of readers who have no idea how long writing a book actually takes, or what the process is to getting it all down.

That’s an easy answer. Take a book, add up how long it took to read, and multiply that by about 500.

That might sound extreme, and it probably is. But when a writer sits down at the computer to write, a lot of the time, what we’re doing isn’t writing. There’s also research, editing, critiquing and receiving critiques. There’s also a lot of time spent staring at that blank screen that isn’t being magically filled with a thrilling plot and witty dialogue. Sometimes, we just sit there, stumped, on how to get the right words down.

That means there’s a lot of time spentĀ walking to the kitchen to the coffee maker. And watching the coffee pour into the cup. And watching those last drops. Slowly. Then the walk back to the computer, where, hopefully, genius has now taken hold with the help of a cup of fresh-ground Starbucks French Roast (which I have been told is being discontinued!!!)

Sometimes that works. But if it doesn’t what usually does is knowing it’s bed time, and I have to get up early. Just as my finger is aimed at the button to shut off the computer for the night, that’s when the best ideas tend to hit.

Who needs sleep, really? That’s another thing coffee is good for.