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Writing in Public

Conor Friedersdorf has a few ideas about why working from coffee shops is so appealing. I've been thinking about this lately because I haven't really found a coffee shop near my home where I feel comfortable going and working on a regular basis.

(from Tricia Wang 王圣捷 on Flickr)

A friend of the blog recently told me that he thought the quality of my posts has plateaued. I was disappointed because I think he's right. Of course, working full time means I have a lot less time and resources to devote to writing than I used to, but another problem is that this blog, which used to be authored exclusively from coffee shops, no longer isn't.

The reason I like writing at coffee shops is because I walk in the door with a purpose. When I go to a coffee shop, I have a goal - writing a blog post or two, sending some emails I've been meaning to send... whatever the case, I sit down and set out to accomplish it. The coffee is like a hourglass. When the coffee gets cold, or the cup sits empty, then it's time to go.

Coffee shops are great places to go for bursts of productivity. They aren't places that I'd feel comfortable sitting for an entire day. Occasionally I'll have two cups of coffee, but by the end of the second cup, I'm usually feeling pretty antsy. For that reason, I don't think they're places were people who want to 'telework' ought to go. There's a difference between writing a blog post or two and doing a full 8-hour day's worth of work.

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