Y’know, I never used to like coffee.
Yeah, yeah, sacrilege, whatever.
I think the first time I tasted it was when I took a sip of whatever my dad was drinking at my grandmother’s house in Malaysia. It was probably Kopi-O or something like that. Regardless, it was too bitter for this little Aussie girl’s palate.
Aside from coffee cake and various coffee flavoured things that were more sugar than coffee, I don’t think I had coffee again for over 10 years.
I started drinking it a bit when I was pulling all-nighters to finish assignments. Which I don’t encourage, of course, but it’d be hypocritical of me to tell you not to do it.
When I started working at my current job, I was mostly opting for a hot chocolate and the occasional mocha. Post-lockdown, the balance tipped towards the mocha and now the barista no longer needs to ask me what I want.
I mean, it’s basically the best of both worlds (espresso and chocolate). Can’t overdo it though – too much caffeine is bad for my anxiety and gives me heart palpitations. 😛
But I feel vaguely incomplete if I don’t have one in the morning. Kinda like when I want to read on the train and realise at the station that I’ve left my book or eReader at home.
(I did just google “caffeine addiction” and I don’t get the listed withdrawal symptoms that came up if I don’t have a morning coffee, so I think we’re good for now.)
I’ve seen some writers define themselves as creatures who turn coffee into words. Some replace “coffee” with “tea”, but it’s rare to find a writer/author who drinks neither. I’m partial to both at different times of the day.
Honoré de Balzac allegedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day and was crazy prolific in his lifetime. That lifetime was only 51 years but the average life expectancy in 19th century France (or 19th century anywhere) wasn’t terribly high. But the rumoured Balzac method sounds like an excellent way to break your toilet and die of a caffeine overdose. Do not recommend.
Besides, I can honestly say I haven’t noticed any difference to my writing output or quality from caffeine. It might help me feel more equipped to deal with certain social or professional situations, but I don’t think it’s made me a better (or worse) writer. Your mileage may vary. 😉
Anyway, if you’re looking for some reading material over your next coffee/tea break, there’s a teeny mention of me in Books+Publishing’s recent Hybrid publishing in Australia article — and a fair bit about Book Reality and Leschenault Press, i.e. the publisher of Black and Blue. Definitely worth a read if you’re a writer who’s interested in going indie. And I’m happy to chat to anyone about my own experiences. 🙂