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Author Topic: Why you’re more creative in coffee shops  (Read 1668 times)
grahame
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« on: January 29, 2021, 10:29:09 am »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
If we’re already working in isolation at home, why do we miss working with our heads similarly down in a public setting?

Some of the most successful people in history have done their best work in coffee shops.

Pablo Picasso, JK Rowling, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan – whether they’re painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers, people across nations and centuries have tapped into their creativity working away at a table in a café.

Article continues

I know the feeling ... I can work really well on a train or in a café - far more productive than here at home - and it's something I really miss.   Trying to put my finger on "why" ...

Not a total solution, but working in our virtual Coffee Shop with loads of members and guests around me and producing useful background is a darned sight easier and more productive than working in quieter places / other web sites from home.    Ironically, I often have TV on in the background with "mindless" shows when I'm doing heavy stuff.

How do others get their inspiration - home - Coffee Shops, or current replacements?

P.S. I am, of course, no Picasso or JK Rowling ...
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 02:39:54 pm »

Having been caught by the lockdown in rural South Devon, country walks and gardening have been my source of inspiration, not least when I help my brother out with his job maintaining a huge garden overlooking the Salcombe estuary/ria. *

* Social distancing from the residents is easy, we are taking a considerable acreage here.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2021, 03:20:38 pm »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
If we’re already working in isolation at home, why do we miss working with our heads similarly down in a public setting?

Some of the most successful people in history have done their best work in coffee shops.

Pablo Picasso, JK Rowling, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan – whether they’re painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers, people across nations and centuries have tapped into their creativity working away at a table in a café.

Article continues

I know the feeling ... I can work really well on a train or in a café - far more productive than here at home - and it's something I really miss.   Trying to put my finger on "why" ...

Not a total solution, but working in our virtual Coffee Shop with loads of members and guests around me and producing useful background is a darned sight easier and more productive than working in quieter places / other web sites from home.    Ironically, I often have TV on in the background with "mindless" shows when I'm doing heavy stuff.

How do others get their inspiration - home - Coffee Shops, or current replacements?

P.S. I am, of course, no Picasso or JK Rowling ...
Oh, I'm not so sure – some of your best typos are reminiscent of James Joyce in his Ulysses phase.  Wink
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 03:24:23 pm »

Back on topic, it's not only "painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers" but 17th and 18th century coffee shops played an important role in the development of stock exchanges, banking systems and limited companies.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 08:27:30 pm »

Back on topic, it's not only "painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers" but 17th and 18th century coffee shops played an important role in the development of stock exchanges, banking systems and limited companies.

I'm also reminded of the1950s coffee shop scene, a home of some of the then nascent popular beat combo culture that still manifests itself with these newfangled degenerates such as Chaz and Dave! 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2021, 10:52:28 pm »

Back on topic, it's not only "painters, singer-songwriters, philosophers or writers" but 17th and 18th century coffee shops played an important role in the development of stock exchanges, banking systems and limited companies.

I'm also reminded of the1950s coffee shop scene, a home of some of the then nascent popular beat combo culture that still manifests itself with these newfangled degenerates such as Chaz and Dave! 

Less so Chas these days since his death!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2021, 12:10:52 pm »

By chance, I read something by the musician and artist David Byrne yesterday, which I think addresses this although doesn't mention coffee shops – his topic is actually gentrification in New York, but the issues within that are relevant:
Quote
...the artists and new arrivals seek apartments farther out as the rising rents drive them away from the centre. ...the resulting lack of mixing of various kinds of people – artists, professionals, and working folk – is ultimately detrimental to creativity. Creativity of all kinds. With young creative types now spread out ... it's harder for any kind of scene or movement to gain traction. There needs to be sufficient density for it to develop. Creativity gets a boost when people rub shoulders, when they rub collide in bars and cafes and have a tentative sense of community. ... Creativity ... will be extinguished ... if random and frequent social contact is eliminated.

It's often said that proximity doesn't matter so much now – that we have virtual offices and online communities and social networks, so it doesn't matter where we are physically. But I'm skeptical. I think online communities tend to group like with like, which is fine and perfect for some tasks, but sometimes inspiration comes from accidental meetings and encounters with people outside one's own demographic, and that's less likely if you only communicate with "friends".

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