Damn you, coffee! You’re so f***king effective!



Coffee inspiration

Inspiration in a cup © Laura Eades 2013

The payoffs of coffee

I’ve said before that I’d like to keep my coffee consumption under control, but that it escalates and wrecks my creative processes. One of the reasons it’s so hard to control is that it isn’t unequivocally poisonous. It’s not as if I were drinking hot paint stripper – then a doctor would tell me to stop, and my husband would probably stop kissing me too. With coffee, other people extol its virtues – and you’re never going to conquer a bad habit if you have mixed feelings about tackling it.

So – what’s pulling me off that wagon time and again?

Perhaps you creative, productive individuals can empathise with these six motives:

When I have caffeine …

  1. I fill my notebooks. I get stuff done. I accomplish things, and it gives me a cheap thrill to be productive.
  2. I sit in cafes, and cafes are sexy. I love working in cafes (and hate spending much money). I need to emphasise this. Sitting writing in cafe is one of my favourite things in the world. I love the coffeedrinking environment; its smell; the quiet background noise.
  3. I give it beans. I attack my day with zeal, I throw – hurl – myself at my activities which otherwise can feel like chores.
  4. I feel inspired. I have starstorms of ideas and schemes. I love this. Ideas linking laterally. I love being in an ideas phase, on the brink of something. This is hopefulness. this is possibility. This is much easier and headier and more instantly rewarding than the plodding of patiently putting a new habit-change regime into action.
  5. Purpose feels within my grasp. Life feels so meaningful and at my fingertips – if only I can just act on all my urges (but of course I can’t). But that’s the point. I’m in the zone of giving in to urges!! Coffee is all about deluded impulses. And it all started with an urge – I already gave into the urge to have coffee! Now – freefall.
  6. I imagine I’m being grungy, (and I don’t want to be middle-aged). My highly creative friend Lachlan Blackley pointed out that I might lose my rock’n’roll edge if I weren’t so manic and self-destructive in my creativity. I would really like to lose my rock’n’roll edge, if I ever had such a thing. Creativity requires us to say Yes to ideas. Coffee makes me say Yeah yeah yeah and then I’m overcommitted. My years of making theatre were like I was a rock star throwing myself out the window, accidentally leaving the tv in the hotel room where it belonged. Crash! Ow. Not cool.

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Is coffee really effective in creativity? If coffee works for you (and it does for me – if only I could stop myself overdoing it) – I’d love to know what you think its magic properties are. And if it doesn’t help you – how on earth do you resist? Open the comments section below by clicking on the grey dot with a ‘plus’ sign