I’m not sure if it is just me, but I find myself unable to write without a rather large cup of coffee beside me. I have always found that the two things go hand in hand, my brain simply refuses to kick into gear without a jolt of caffeine in my system.
When I think of famous writers of the past, I often have this image of them in my head in which they are crouched over some kind of ancient typewriter with a cigarette hanging from their mouth and a steaming mug of coffee on the table next to them. Perhaps I am being naive in imaging writers of the ilk of John le Carre or Stephen King handing their manuscripts into their publishers with the faint smell of cigarette smoke and a number of coffee-stained rings on random pages throughout their latest tome, but it is an image that sits well and one that serves to sustain me throughout my own writing process.
The passing of time has made me thankful for two things. One is that I have the luxury of using a computer rather than a typewriter, it sure saves a lot of faffing if you do make a spelling mistake, all you have to do is point your cursor, click and then delete. You needn’t have to worry about getting the correction fluid out and then spending precious minutes (or hours in some cases) lining up the damn piece of paper in the machine again, cursing yourself for the fact that the white fluid has spread not only all over your hands, but now onto the rest of your page too.
I am also thankful that, for my generation, smoking is something of a no-no and a pastime that I have never indulged in and likely never will. Besides, it is far too expensive to be a smoker these days, I’d much rather spend that money on a good book instead as you know it is much less likely to cause you long-term physical harm. Unless it was a coffee-table type tome and you dropped it on your foot, you might be looking at six weeks in plaster if that were the case….
No, the only trait that I would like to think that I share with some of my writing idols is the love of a good cup of coffee. Not just any old cup of Joe, but a quality filtered coffee and one with a big enough kick to sustain the energy levels that serious writing requires. Often, the only times that I drag myself away from my keyboard is to refill my rather large mug with more coffee before returning to my desk and chair with a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm.
Gone are the days when too much caffeine would leave me feeling shaky and wobbly, now my body needs that hit every single day. Anyone who knows me will be aware of the fact that I am quite the ogre without a cup of coffee to greet me in the mornings. Not only does it wake me up, it keeps my energy levels up during the day and helps me maintain that rather frenetic pace that I like to keep when I am in a creative mood.
It doesn’t really matter if I have consumed so much coffee during the day that it keeps me awake at night because, as every good writer knows, that’s when you usually come up with the best ideas!