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Coffee: A Writer's Muse

Have you ever ordered a coffee so good that the millisecond your hand grips pen and hits paper, whatever you write is brilliant? The correlation is weird, that between coffee and good wits, one seems to produce the other. My thoughts, is it myth?

Is it a false sense of confidence gathered from all the Greats blasting through coffee like some would as a raging alcoholic? Is it just the bitter taste that makes it feel as though it out-weighs tea in producing a mental spark? Or, maybe, it's just the sugar, the sugar high, and then the craving for more sugar because now you’ve lost that sugary sensation?

The author Honore de Balzac used to drink roughly 50 coffees a day, according to Writers Write. The man allegedly wrote for over fourteen hours a day. Balzac also died at the early age of 51 due to congestive heart failure. Whether the two are linked… I’m just saying. That’s like eight red bulls a day.

I just looked him up. Yep. Death by coffee.

Moving on.

‘As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move… similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.’ (Balzac)

Balzac isn’t wrong. Pen and paper seem to get moving a lot faster when coffee’s in your system. Interestingly, the main things that seem to affect creativity are the three factors: initiative, commitment and self-doubt. Coffee, our dear bitter-tasting pal, rattles all of these. It gives you a previously-inaccessible sense of confidence, a jump-start, and a sudden laser-like focus. You’re like superman in a fluffy bathrobe — and, by bathrobe, I mean, all writers wear these while writing, right?

As a writer, it seems untrustworthy to say I don’t like coffee. It’s gross. For me, it’s only consumable with milk — and that just seems to make it somewhat grosser. It makes me feel like I’m swallowing a head-spin. However, during writing dead-ends, it’s a total lifesaver where tea completely doesn’t. My go-to at uni: hazelnut latte — with no skimping on the sugar. Legit, I’ve written some strange, out-of-my-hands type shiznik on coffee highs from these.

‘O Coffee, thou dost dispel all care, thou art the object of desire to the scholar.’ –16th century Arabic poem


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