... we all need it. The caffeine and the inspiration. That's why the two go so well together. Caffeine gives you energy, makes your brain stand at attention, and when your brain is pumping on all cylinders that's when you can write at pulp speed. Or perhaps you don't write very fast, but you still need caffeine to come up with ideas, words, sentences, and paragraphs.
Lots of people harbor this romantic vision of Hemingway, penning his stories and novels with a bottle of Scotch set out on his writing table. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, Papa wrote in the cafe's of 1920's Paris during the heyday of the Lost Generation. But he did this because it was too cold to write in his cold water flat. And what did he drink? Not booze, but coffee with milk.
He also wrote by long hand, having several sharpened pencils at his disposal. One of his ways of warming up for the day's word count, was to slowly sharpen each pencil. Only when he was ready, would he begin to enter the words that came together in his head onto the pages of a blank notebook, or what's known in Paris as a cahier.
I'm a seasoned fiction writing vet at this point. I make my living from it. I believe at this point I have around 50-60 books in print, having sold close to a million editions. But I still love the romantic notion of the young man or woman sitting in a cafe, drinking some really great coffee with milk, and writing by hand in a cahier, hoping that one day he'll see one of his books in print.
I'll be leaving for Italy on Thursday where, for close to two months, I'll be doing this very thing. Sure, I'm no longer a newbie at this, but here's what I'll be taking with me:
--Writer's Block Coffee
--Cahier No. 1
--The Writers Glove
You can too.