One of my favorite ways to spend a Tuesday afternoon is with my laptop open, listening to a Spotify playlist with a fresh iced coffee sitting on the table. This typically happens at one of the several trendy coffee shops I enjoy visiting in Nashville.
One of the million things I love about this city is how locals support each other. As someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who works for a local small business, I don’t eat at chain restaurants and I choose local coffee over Starbucks whenever I can.
Lately, I’ve realized that all the hours I spend writing and working around Nashville have led to me learning new things and coming up with fresh ideas. How does this happen? I’m about to tell you three ways I find inspiration at local, trendy coffee shops.
1. I observe the fashion.
I think all the boring dressed people who love coffee must go to Starbucks or like Dunkin Donuts or something. If you walk into a local coffee shop in Nashville, you’ll see an array of stylish people wearing all the kinds of outfits you wish you had thought of putting together. It’s like a real life Instagram feed of all the coolest fashion bloggers, musicians, photographers and obviously hair stylists. Who else could possibly be getting coffee at 2pm on a Tuesday?
For real though, I’ve gotten some serious style inspiration from observing all the fashion that walks in and out of a coffee shop when I’m there.
2. I Might Eavesdrop A Little
I don’t necessarily do this on purpose, but there are times it’s impossible not to listen to a conversation happening next to me when there are two people having a discussion one table over and I’m sitting there by myself. But let me tell you, I’ve heard someone share how they moved to Nashville with basically no money and no friends to pursue music. And they are telling this story to a person who seems to be some kind of music industry executive. I’ve also heard someone talking on the phone about how a photo they took got re-posted by some huge Instagram account and it could be their big break. I just love that.
When lots of creative people gather in one place, there’s a lot of unexpected stories to be inspired by.
3. I Turn My Phone On Silent
Something I’ve been working hard at doing more often is turning my phone on “Do Not Disturb” throughout certain times of the day to avoid distractions. When I’m at home, it doesn’t happen very often. But for some reason, when I go somewhere else to work or write, I’m more motivated to get things done, resulting in my phone being turned to silent.
When I’m not constantly stopping my thought process to read a text or refresh my Instagram feed, it’s so much easier to get things done. Keeping your creative process from being interrupted is one way you can actually inspire yourself. But then sometimes I’ll lose my train of thought and start staring at someone’s outfit and I have to start all over. The phone being on silent definitely helps though!
So next time you’re craving a little coffee shop hang time, I challenge you to find a local spot in your neighborhood. You never know what kind of inspiration you might stumble upon.