Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Writer’s Block

The other night I was sitting in front of my television for a partially-deserved brain break in front of my television, I turned to see if Jim Cramer would possibly be yelling about something on CNBC. To my dismay, Donnie Duetsch was on the screen. He was talking to 20 something millionaires. He was talking to a guy who started a Beanie Baby business at like 12 years old, he repeated something that seems obvious in the business world and to me but it jutted me into thought. Probably because he was my age, a millionaire and I am a hundredaire. The idea is to find a hole of where you are missing a service in this world and fill it because it is highly plausible that other people out there are looking for the same thing you are.

Every time I go to Barnes and Noble to get out of my newly flooded basement living space, I do it on the hopeful premise that tonight is the night that I will accomplish something, or at least to begin and accomplish something. But instead, I pick up three magazines, a book that I read three pages of, write a blog entry and then hear the call over the loudspeaker that "it is now 10:55 and Barnes & Noble" will be closing in five minutes…"

My old cure for this problem was to shift myself from the Barnes and Noble café to the 24 hour Starbucks, quite a change of scenery. There I would dabble in some online poker tournaments and talk to the amusing overnight baristas, Luis and a punky skateboarder Willie during their multiple cigarette breaks. This ended when that Starbucks was closed to eminent domain (?). So now I am left wandering for a place that I can try to fake writing past 11 PM in suburban NJ.

The idea is basically a writer's café but my negative instincts immediately kick in. First of all, there are enough overbearing coffee shops across this country. But what I need to fill my void is a space where I can have silence, an air of creative atmosphere, wi-fi (for fact checking, of course) and possibly a drink. Still, I wouldn't want to force anyone to buy anything but how do you maintain business that doesn't ask for any sort of payment in an area with skyrocketing rent and high labor costs. I mean we're not in Kansas.

But the loud talking church-goer beside me that is defending her moral superiority while quoting the New Testament , and calling all around her considerate and retarded is overbearing and speaking so loud that my mediocre headphones can't blare her out. That's the key to the café, an environment. You have to build an environment. Building the Barnes and Noble environment was not cheap. You need patrons. Eventually customers will ask for things and you will begin to abide and lose the main principles of the store, a discussion group to drum up business. I thought of that by making certain hours critiquing hours, but then that would destroy my ideal motto, "Write away, any time of day ".

On top of this, part of the writer's necessity is mirroring outside influence. You take a character you see or perceive, invert it a little bit and call it fiction. And every person works better in different environment. Some people like the park, or the subway, or the old Sneaker Stadium parking lot so would I really be filling a void for others.

You might ask, "Can't you just make a place at home? It would be a lot easier for a hundredaire like you?" Home never worked as a place where my creativity flowed, at least until I am about to go to bed. Maybe I could put beds in the store, I'll call it Writer's Block, and rent them for napping. Sorry that's a bad idea, although, the all too obvious store name is not bad.

The dream is alive. And there is a void to be filled but until I finish tweaking it, I guess my tri-weekly trips to Barnes & Noble will keep occurring. At least I've cut down on costs by just getting tea and getting over my Caramel Macchiato addiction. But I did go to Dunkin Donuts twice already today. Coffee addiction is another story for another day.




1 comment:

kate said...

i enjoy this idea. the coffee place im in now closes at 8. whats that about???