The Coffee Battle

This is gonna be a silly one, but there is something here that requires thought. For some people, deep introspection; for others, a causal consideration.

If you read a lot of interviews with writers where they speak about process, you will find one thing that comes up more often than not–coffee. There will be a mention about the routine that involves waking up at 6:00 am, putting on a pot of coffee, writing, putting on another pot of coffee at noon, writing, etc.

With the popularity of single serve coffee I’m not sure if this has changed anyone’s process. Hmm.

I honestly don’t know how anyone does it. I love coffee, but I can only manage to drink about one cup a day without it having a severe impact on my sleep. I’m incredibly sensitive to caffeine, and for some reason, this has gotten worse as I’ve aged.

In the past I have gone into battle with coffee. Like any drug you acquire a tolerance, and one cup a day becomes two, then a full pot, then two pots, and before you know it you’re filling your bathtub with espresso just to get you through the day.

Inevitably, you’ll realize you’ve gone too far and you’ll cut out coffee, leading to severe headaches. Days and weeks will follow where you’re so exhausted you can’t even function.

With changes to my health I’ve recently cut out coffee almost altogether. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but my writing has improved as a result. More production, clarity with ideas.

I think coffee makes me too anxious, leads me to distraction and the inability to focus on getting words on the page.

If you’re drinking five cups a day and writing at a good pace, continue what you’re doing. But if you’ve seen a dip in your production and you realize you’re drinking more coffee than before, you might want to cut back and see what happens.

Give it a couple weeks when you stop coffee to see what changes. The first days without a cup are brutal.

Full disclosure: I drank coffee today.


About Robert Steele

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