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.
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:
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.