How to Write in a Coffee Shop

  1. Be extra nice to the staff
  2. If you’re going to be there for longer than 60-90 minutes, go up and buy another drink
  3. Don’t make a mess
  4. You made a mess.  Clean up your mess
  5. Don’t make overly creepy or lengthy eye contact with anyone
  6. If you try to strike up a conversation, be mindful of any hints that might mean ‘fuck off I’m working’
  7. Don’t try to strike up a conversation
  8. If you listen to music, make sure it isn’t disturbing anyone next to you
  9. If the person next to you is listening to disturbing music, spill your drink on her
  10. Actually do work.  If you’re just browsing Facebook, and other people see your screen, they will resent you
  11. If you have to use the restroom, ask the person next to you to watch your stuff
  12. If your restroom trip is going to take longer than two minutes (if you know what I mean), just go home and do it there
  13. Don’t put your bag on the chair next to you
  14. Don’t eat with your mouth open
  15. Don’t slurp
  16. Don’t smell bad
  17. If you get really into a song you’re listening to, bob your head to the beat, but understand that people will think you’re crazy/weird
  18. Don’t brag about how often you write in coffee shops
  19. Try to switch it up sometimes – other places are cool too
  20. Don’t fart, unless it’s to mark your territory as you’re leaving or the person next to you is exceedingly rude
  21. Don’t forget your stuff

Stop Procrastinating

If you’re anything like most of the people I know, you need help.  Trust me, you really do.

In today’s society, procrastination is almost an art form, something that a certain group of people have perfected to such a degree of proficiency that not only do they believe their own excuses, but the people around them do too.  Almost every person old enough to talk is at least mildly proficient at procrastination; I’d say I fall somewhere between “Exceeds Expectations” and “Jedi”.  But when it comes to the things that matter to me, that I dream about every day and night, I’m also a master at cutting through the procrastination and getting work done.  Read more

Living In Memory

About seven years ago, during my senior year of high-school, I wrote a short story titled Frank, which I later changed to Living in Memory. It’s been tucked away since then, gathering dust, aging slowly – not unlike the eponymous character – until I found it this morning and got a chance to re-read my 18-year-old writing. It’s about 3,400 words and I wanted to share it here with you all. For those who get a chance to read it, I’d love to hear what you think in either the comments section or through a direct message. Read more

Write in Weird Places

Have you ever written somewhere a little bit strange?  No, I don’t mean ‘yesterday I wrote a short story on my mom’s dining room table’ strange.  I mean somewhere different, somewhere outside the norm.  Somewhere exciting.  Somewhere fun or scary.  A place that might seem regular, but still a place you’d never consciously go to work on a normal day.

I have.  I did it today, and last week, and a few weeks before that.

And it was awesome.

Welcome to the first part of my new series of blog posts: Write in Weird Places. Read more


I’ve been more productive lately than ever before.  As I mentioned in my most recent post, life has been pretty crazy lately, and that’s forced me to think really hard about how I can keep up with the things I care about.  Without something to help us keep track of our goals, something to remind ourselves what is important vs. what is immediate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Work, friends, writing, blogging, reading, traveling, going to the gym… What comes first? Some of these things are only possible at certain times: you can get some writing or reading done at 4 in the morning, but you’d be hard pressed to find a big group of friends to hang out with (if you can, good for you).

I’ve tried several different ways to keep my life organized.  I’ve tried to-do lists, calendaring, turning off my phone for days at a time, working out in the morning vs. the afternoon, taking a break in the middle of the workday to write.  I’ve also tried different productivity hacks, like creating a different workspace for each of my projects, or the Pomodoro technique.

What’s worked the best for me, though, has come down to 2 things.

  1. Boiling all of my goals and dreams down into 3 or 4 actions that I can take every day to get myself closer to achieving them
  2. Momentum

Read more

Exciting New Directions

For the past couple of months, life has been pretty damn crazy.  Work has kicked into another gear, requiring my full attention, focus, and mental energy during the day, I’ve been traveling every other week to New York City and Toronto for meetings with clients, and the weekends have been jam-packed with events.

It’s a revolving door; work and social events die down for a few days and I write like a maniac, then I travel and have a busy weekend and all of a sudden two weeks have gone by.

Then I start all over again.

There hasn’t been any consistency, although I guess that keeps life interesting.  And an interesting life can certainly make for interesting writing. Read more

Keep It Simple

Keeping things simple is one of the most important things a person can do in life, at work, with friends, when making plans, and (shocker, I bet you didn’t think I was going to go here) in writing.  You’re probably thinking that I’m stating the obvious, that keeping things simple is intuitive, that your nine-year-old child could have told me that.  You might be right.

But I bet you still fail miserably at keeping it simple. Read more