3 Ways Coffee Boosts Creativity and Makes You a Better Writer

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Kyle Van Pelt. He is currently working on the ultimate guide to coffee shops and undiscovered roasters in the USA.

Coffee has incredible powers. It has the ability to jumpstart our day and spark amazing conversations with people. In fact, coffee and bacon are the only two items you need to change the world. But there is more superpower in a coffee mug than meets the eye.

3 Ways Coffee Boosts Creativity and Makes You A Better Writer

Coffee also has the ability to make you more creative and thus make you a better writer. Don’t believe me? I will prove it!

First, a few quick notes about creativity. Have you ever stopped to think about where creativity comes from? Me neither. That is why I had to Google it.

Creativity is a state of mind hindered by three barriers:

  • Initiative
  • Commitment
  • Self-doubt

Breaking down these barriers unlocks endless creativity. That is, until you get fatigued. Sort of like finding a star on Super Mario Brothers. You’re invincible until the sparkle wears off.

Let’s talk about how coffee dismantles these barriers and makes you more creative.

1. Coffee gives you initiative

I am pretty sure all of us have experienced the energy boost coffee provides. It’s the reason why most of us need a cup of coffee to get going in the morning.

Not only does coffee help get you moving, it helps jumpstart your brain so you overcome the first hurdle to unlocking your creative juices.

Ideas are vital to creativity. I’ve found  ideas breed more ideas which eventually lead to creative breakthroughs. It is hard to generate this flow of ideas without any initiative.

On the days when I just do not feel like writing (who has been there?) a cup of coffee is like magic. The caffeine triggers something in my brain,  and I snap out of it and get to work.

2. Coffee creates commitment

Coffee is a stimulant. There is some science to it, but the important thing to note is the caffeine in your coffee blocks the part of your brain that says “I am tired.”

Fatigue is the number one killer of focus in the world. Followed closely by Facebook.

Coffee can’t help your social media addiction, but the caffeine steaming in your mug postpones fatigue so can commit to the task at hand. For creatives, this means pushing through the stage of coming up with bad ideas.

Let’s be honest, nobody wants to sit and come up with bad ideas. The cool thing is, enough bad ideas eventually lead to a good one.

3. Coffee inspires confidence

The biggest barrier to boundless creativity is self-doubt. When you think your ideas are silly or stupid you stop coming up with ideas or worse, do not even start at all.

Since coffee creates initiative and commitment, confidence naturally follows.

I am not saying  coffee will make you Iron Man or Wonder Woman (which would be awesome!), but you absolutely will get out of your own head enough to create some awesome ideas.

Be more creative, be a better writer

Writing has always been scary to me because it is my art. I have never been a great musician like Jeff. I cannot paint or draw like my wife. I certainly cannot create beautiful software. But I can write and I believe in what Seth Godin says:

If you create art, then you have to share it.

Although it is not the only factor, coffee has helped me be more creative and become a better writer. Ideas seem to flow easier, words chain together faster, and creative juices show up when I need them.

A lot of you probably already drink coffee when you write and that is great. Some of you do not and that is cool, this post is not prescriptive.

The goal is to make you self-aware of the creative benefits you experience when consuming coffee. There is tremendous power in the ability to recognize what is going on in our heads and then act on it.

Do you drink coffee? What helps boost your creativity? Share in the comments.

Kyle writes about coffee, personal development and entrepreneurship. You can usually find him with a finely crafted cup of coffee in hand, hanging out with his wife and baby girl while still searching for Platform 9 3/4.

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35 thoughts on “3 Ways Coffee Boosts Creativity and Makes You a Better Writer

  1. My husband calls me a “coffee snob” because of not just my love for coffee but for good, quality coffee. Coffee does what you suggest, sure, but it’s also nostalgic and comforting too, which adds even more to its impact.

    1. Hi fellow coffee snob 🙂

      I love to say that coffee is the new wine. There is so much to explore and so many subtleties that make coffee unique and different. Altitude, region, how the coffee is washed, how it is dried. So many factors effect flavor and other characteristics of the coffee.

      I love your point about how nostalgic it can be. Some of my best relationships started over a cup of coffee.

      What is your favorite coffee shop right now?

      1. So true! I love trying new coffee in new places. My favorite is the Hawaiian coffee house (not sure of exact name) just down from Waikiki beach, but I don’t get there much since I live in Michigan. For now, my favourite spot is my back deck in the shade.

  2. I don’t drink coffee at all. I have actually cut out almost every drink that brings me pleasure.

        1. I have a similar routine, I run almost every day and drink plenty of water, hardly any other beverages. And I feel energized every day!

  3. Agreed! I love me some coffee during writing times. (And virtually any other time as well.) Coffee is the elixir of life, I’m telling you. And coffee shops make for great writing atmospheres, which is an added bonus!

    1. So true! This may be a bad thing, but I am almost to the point where I cannot write without coffee. It inspires me.

      Do you have any tips for getting in a writing zone at a coffee shop? I always get distracted!

      1. Yeah, I can understand that. Fortunately, the coffee shop in my town has its quiet times, so I can plan a time to go when it won’t be as busy. My two biggest tips would be:

        1) Keep an eye out for less busy times to hang out at a coffee shop. It makes a world of difference.
        2) If its always busy, take some earbuds along and listen to quiet, instrumental music. I’ve found that to be a wonderful help when things get noisy. Soundtracks or instrumental piano are my favorites for drowning out distraction.

        Hope that helps you! (:

  4. Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Yes, I drink coffee. As my son once said “Mom, you and coffee have a special relationship…kind of like Shaggy (from Scooby Doo) and junk food.” 🙂 Coffee, reading, and runs definitely get the creativity going for me.

    1. Oh man. I have really been learning the power of exercise when it comes to writing. Coffee and Running is a really powerful combo. Thanks for sharing that with everyone.

      1. Oh! She meant exercise.
        Exercise and I are not well acquainted, so my mind didn’t go there on the first read. (Where’s my coffee?!)

  5. Coffee is my friend and my comfort food – truly, deeply. Thanks Kyle (and Jeff) for a great Friday night read!

  6. Hi Kyle,

    Great post. I’m not big on coffee – drink more tea myself – but I can appreciate what good coffee tastes like, since I hail from Melbourne, Australia. Apparently our coffee is pretty killer down here.

    I love how you tied coffee together with creativity. For writers and artists in general, it is about harnessing some flow that allows you to manage your creativity so produce something beautiful. The idea of managing something as spontaneous as creativity though eludes a lot of people though, so I reckon your post might just do the trick for frustrated creatives.

    Are you much of a coffee connoisseur yourself?

    Cheers,

    -Johnson aka Tribe Guy

    1. Hey Johnson!

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words. Tea is pretty incredible as well, there is quite a culture being built around it.

      I fancy myself a coffee connoisseur. My wife and I owned a craft coffee shop at one point and it is a pretty big hobby of mine. I visit new coffee shops in every new city I travel to and I spend lots of money trying new coffees at home. I really enjoy it.

      Cheers.

  7. Love it when our vices turn out to be beneficial in some ways 🙂

    I’ve actually found that a glass of wine can help me be more creative as well. It loosens me up, and I write faster with more ideas flowing through me when I’m just the tiniest bit tipsy. After all, they do say, “Write drunk, edit sober”!

  8. I attended a workshop-seminar, “project beautiful words: write that right now” which included free-flowing 3-in-1 coffee for the participants. Because writers can’t live without coffee. 🙂

  9. So happy to have official reasons for my coffee! and will defend my coffee drinking with a new authority. here is a happy camper.

  10. Amen – wonderful post! I cannot live or write without coffee.
    My doctor just doesn’t get it 😉

  11. As for me, 20 oz. of cold water with pure ground cinnamon sprinkled into it usually helps me stay focused in combination to setting my egg timer for 15 minutes to spark creativity.

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