Robert Masello is my new best friend. As the author of Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 unconventional lessons every writer needs to know he has claimed his ‘new best friend’ status through the inclusion of rule no. 7: SKIP THE STARBUCKS.
Now I hate Starbucks. I hate them because:
- They are blatantly homogenising the whole of the world with their green and black logos on every high street.
- They have coaxed Joni Mitchell out of retirement to record a CD for them which they will then overprice and put in a basket next to the carrot cake.
- They sell carrot cake and I love carrot cake and sometimes I want to liberate the carrot cake, but that would involve going into their shops and parting with cash.
- Sometimes I crack...
Still none of these reasons figure in Robert’s explanation of why you should not go. No he says:
Starbucks is where writers who want to be seen in the act of creation go, who treat writing as if it were some kind of performance art. They want to be admired, they want to be soothed by the ambient noise and the occasional glance of an attractive patron. They want to be asked, “What are you working on?” so they can sit back and talk about it.
Or scowl importantly and say, “Sorry, I can’t be disturbed right now.”
When, if they really and truly wanted to be undisturbed, they’d stay home and concentrate.
As one who doesn’t write in a café, I can sit here sanctimoniously and pretend I’m a serious writer. Actually it’s because there is no ambient noise in a café, there’s a cacophony competing with the voice inside my head. So what do you think about rule 7?
Oh, by the way Robert's also not saying to skip Starbucks for ever, just when you’re writing. I, on the other hand am advocating a world wide boycott.
And Lastly, the launch of The Opening Chapter Blag is not today. This is apparently due to some of the contributors not reading their e mails and watching the deadlines pass them by, tut! It will be out in September. Right, where's the paracetamol?