Monday 5 December 2011

Why I’m involved in Creative Cafes

I’m just such a sucker for cafés. It’s almost a default activity. Even though I no longer dare drink coffee other than the one I have first thing with breakfast. I’m tending these days to go for the pot of Earl Grey.  
I almost use a café visit as an artist’s treat or maybe as a reward for having achieved something:  picked up a royalty cheque, completed a project or had a piece of work or a project accepted.  Then, of course, I’m allowed to try the cake as well.  As a celebration.
Yet there is more to it than that.  Being in a café feels to me as if it puts me in contact with my readership. I don’t often write in cafés – I like to write straight on to the computer.  But I do make notes and I enjoy reading other people’s work in cafes.  I often find a café the best place to critique other people’s work.  I like to sit with a pencil in my hand and write straight on to their scripts, even though they stand more chance of being able to read what I say if I do it in Word and use Track Changes.
I still dream of spending an afternoon in café – maybe getting on with my writing, chatting to other people about theirs and collecting stories, maybe even signing and selling a few books.  Over and above that, of course, you can collect characters and ideas in cafés and they are good antidotes to the loneliness that most writers feel.