The Coffee House Perspective

Posted on: February 10th, 2008 by Anthony Rapino

I gave my first draft about 1 week of rest time. He’d been worked hard, so I thought some relaxation would do us both some good. Over the coarse of the week, something interesting happened: I couldn’t concentrate on anything.

I tried reading some books and magazines, but after a page or two I’d start thinking about my novel. I guess that’s normal, but it started interrupting my sleep. I woke a number of times startled, as if I had been having a nightmare. I can’t remember what the dreams were about, but I have a couple of theories. The least likely of which stared a man eating manuscript.

I decided if I let any more time pass between finishing the first draft and starting the second draft, I might lose what tiny bit of sanity I had left.

I fished out an old, moldy-smelling manuscript bag from my garage. I took some Febreze to to it to help with the smell, but it did nothing for the appearance. That’s okay with me though, because at this time in my life, thirty dollars for a new manuscript bag just ain’t gonna happen.

So I had my first draft, my manuscript bag, and my unapologetically scruffy beard. The only thing missing to complete the stereotypical aspiring author image was a coffee house to work on the editing. Would I go balls-out and head to Starbucks? Or maybe a smaller private owned coffee house was more my speed? Where could I really spread my wings and fly pretentiously into the first draft editing process?

And then it came to me. Borders! What better place then a giant bookstore equipped with it’s own cafe and big cushy chairs? And so my choice was made.

Coffee in hand and manuscript in tow, I sat in one of Borders’ chairs and got to work.

Besides the strange “dirty” feeling at becoming one of the many writers to take to the streets with their work, I managed to edit one-third of my manuscript. Not a bad haul, if I say so myself.

Do I attribute the number of pages edited to this strange writer’s ritual? Do I make the coffee house editing part of my own writing schedule?

Something tells me, I just might.

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