Blogging

Is Coffee Shop Blogging a Good Idea for Your Blog?

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By ‘coffee shop blogging,’ I’m not talking about blogs that focus on coffee and coffee shops: I’m talking about getting out of the house to blog elsewhere.

I’ve done my share of coffee shop blogging. Sometimes, I feel the need to get out of the house to work on my blog.

I guess a change of setting can be a good thing every now and then.

Whenever I go out to eat, I always try to take my iPad with me. That way, I can, at the very least, find topics to blog about. But sometimes I even actually start writing blog posts while I wait for my entree.

Most of the time, I’ll write a post at home, and I try my best to write ahead of time and schedule completed posts. (As I’ve written before, it gives me the extra time to give the post one more look before it goes live.)

I’m the kind of writer who needs some sort of noise in the background. Maybe that noise is a piece of music. Maybe it’s a television episode I’ve seen before.

In any case, it satisfies some part of my brain that hates total silence that some other writers say they can’t write without.

Call me crazy. It’s just how I’ve learned to write. Then again, my professional writing happens in a newsroom. Newsrooms, in case you haven’t been in one, aren’t noted for their silence.

Distractions force stronger focus

Slight distractions can be a good thing, I think. They force the writer to focus harder when they are working to compose a post.

I’ll tell you a quick story. Years ago when I lived in Richmond, I went to an eye exam and they measured my current prescription for eyeglasses. They pulled one of those metal gadgets in front of my face that optometrists use to test vision. It’s one of those little multi-lens masks where the examiner will switch between a series of two options and ask you which looks clearer: A or B?

This time around, the examiner must have had a hot lunch date because the selections were flipped a bit too fast for me to keep up with.

Somehow, I wound up selecting what was apparently too strong of a prescription. So for two years, I wore eyeglasses that were slightly stronger than I needed.

At my next eye exam, a different examiner seemed confused by my lens choices during a similar exam. He then measured the prescription of the eyeglasses and gave me the news: I was no longer nearsighted. My eyes were nearly 20/20.

It turned out that because my eyes were having to over-compensate for the wrong prescription, they were forced to get better at focusing.

My eye muscles were slightly overworked for those 24 months, but the muscles wound up getting stronger.

That’s how I look at distractions with writing as well. If you are able to force yourself to concentrate a little more to stay focused, you find that the process of getting focused becomes easier.

At least that’s how it works for me. You may find the opposite is true, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either way. You must figure out what works for you.

But one piece of advice I’d always give is quite important. Whether you blog at home or out and about, make sure you build in time to re-read.

It’s amazing how many errors you can catch when you do.

Sometimes, I can write more away from home. But that doesn’t mean I’m making any fewer mistakes when I do.

Do what you can to be productive.

But also do what you can to make sure you can catch those mistakes before you hit publish!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.