10- Writing Like Rowling


It is a well-known fact that I love Harry Potter. And although she's a famous person whom I have never met, I love J.K. Rowling. The story of how she went from being a single mom on welfare to becoming the first person to become a billionaire by writing books is so incredible and inspiring.

I've always been so intrigued hearing her describe in interviews how she wrote whenever she could on whatever paper she could find, and how she did most of her writing in a busy coffee shop in Edinburgh. The Elephant House.


Well, it planted a seed in me. I've since had the dream of taking my laptop to a coffee house and writing away the afternoon. Buuut I've never been brave enough to do it.

Why, I'm not sure. What's so scary about it? Am I afraid someone at the next table over is going to creepily read what I'm writing over my shoulder? ...Yes. Do I worry that I'll get kicked out for taking up a table for too long? A little.

I decided to get over all that in the spirit of The Month of No Fear. So I put on a writerly cardigan, packed my laptop in my cool vintagey laptop bag that's never been used, grabbed my black-rimmed reading glasses, and headed to Starbucks.

I couldn't believe how nervous I was when I got there. It was really crowded for one in the afternoon. Lots of businessmen with laptops and smartphones. I scanned the shop and immediately noticed all the tables and big comfy chairs next to electrical outlets were full, so I started panicking. My laptop battery lasts for about 30 minutes, then it dies. I went ahead and placed my order- a grande Mocha Light Frappiccino, only 130 calories. I was so nervous that when the barista handed it to me, I dropped it on the counter... Luckily, I turned it upright before anything spilled out, but I still felt like a lamo.

I picked a table that was uncomfortably close to a young man who sat alone reading his Bible. I might have subconsciously done this on purpose, secretly hoping one of us would make a move. I mean, it's not every day you see a nice looking guy reading First Timothy in the middle of Starbucks. Buuut he never looked at me. Typical. Anyway, I pulled out my laptop and my glasses and got settled in.

My laptop was dead. Completely dead. And no outlet in sight.

Except for one that a cute guy across the shop was already using. There was a free tiny table right behind him. So, I faced yet another fear and moved all my stuff to that table. He was lost in whatever project he was working on on his own laptop, so I said "Excuse me" like 3 times before he looked up. I asked if I could plug in my computer, and he very politely plugged it in for me.

So I settled into this new table. Now plugged into the wall, my computer came to life. Thank the Lord! I pulled up the most recent chapter of the story I've been working on and got to work.


I also managed to get a picture. I feel so creepy snapping pictures in public places like this, because my phone makes a loud camera noise when it takes a photo. And you can't turn it off!!! Oh well. Month of No Fear.

I ended up writing there for over three hours! (And although I feel like people were reading over my shoulder, I just decided to give them a good read.)

Also in the human contact department: a nice man at a table across from me asked me to watch his laptop while he went to the restroom. When he got back, I asked him to do the same for me. Crazy, right???

So, all in all, a great writerly experience, and I spoke to like three guys (including the cashier...) I didn't know. What a time! I definitely would love to do that again.

8 comments

Regine Karpel said...

I like the Month of no Fear! May have to try it!
Yay for you!
www.rsrue.blogspot.com

Jessi Francis said...

umm, this post was pretty much my favorite!
you go girl for getting out there! i aspire to be like this! :)

Lacey said...

I loved this post! I think it's even brave of you to admit that going to Starbucks to write was scary for you. Because a lot of people who would find themselves in similar situations probably wouldn't want to admit that frightened them and made them nervous. You really are fearless ;)

And now I want to go to Starbucks to write the afternoon away! I think facing this fear is SO essential to someone who wants to make something out of their life... you have to decide you want something bad enough to get over yourself and do it! If that makes sense. haha. I'm totally inspired now!

P.S. I think you should have talked to the Bible Boy. It's SO rare to see a guy our age willing to read the Bible in public! At least here it is, anyway. Too often people are ashamed or want to hide their faith. Even if nothing came of it, you could be an encouragement to him :) And maybe get a date too, who knows. haha! :P

Jennifer said...

Hey, there! Thank you so much! You should definitely give it ago. So far, I've only done seemingly small things, and it's already changing my perspective on life. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jennifer said...

Hey, thank you very much! That's so sweet of you to say. We've just gotta get out there and try new things! Life is for living! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much, Lacey. You always leave the nicest, most encouraging comments. It means a lot!

What you said there is totally true. It's easier said than done, but yeah. If you really, truly want to do something, you're either gonna have to suck it up and go do it or face the fact that your lack of action is keeping you where you are. So go get to writin'! (Though I might suggest taking headphones. It did get a little loud and distracting in there at times.)

And yes.......I should have talked to Bible Boy. But I didn't want to interrupt if he was having some deep spiritual breakthrough. Plus, he was sorta attractive. Ugh. ONE fear at a time! lol

Niken said...

i can't count how many times i go to starbucks (or any other coffee shop) to write. i think the baristas might think i'm some kind of lonely person who go there alone to complete my isolation, haha.

and yes, there are many many times when i take turn to watch laptops with others visitors. i'd love to read your story :)

Jennifer said...

haha No, I'm sure they don't think that! They probably just think you're very busy and important and always working!