Monday, September 1, 2014

Where EIU Writes: Jackson Avenue Coffee

For this first post in a series on where EIU writes, we’re putting our spotlight on a setting where coffee brews and culture thrives, a center for both musicians and artists to share their work, a friendly atmosphere where you may just find your new favorite spot to unwind or write: Jackson Avenue Coffee.

More commonly called “the JAC” around Charleston, Jackson Avenue Coffee is a good place to work on your writing in that classic coffee-shop setting. It gives you a chance to escape the academic environment of campus and the monotony of national coffee-shop chains.

Having only been in Charleston for a few months, I stumbled upon what would become my favorite writing destination after a long fight with writer’s block at Starbucks. Following up on an invitation from a few local friends and dragging along the blank Word document lighting up my laptop screen, I quickly found the inspiration that had been eluding me.

There are so many reasons EIU writes well here. You can set up shop at a table without worrying about getting in anyone’s way. You can enjoy the free Wi-Fi and do research for your writing—perhaps rewarding yourself with a drink, a sweet treat from their bakery, or, my favorite, a toasted bagel.

Maybe you too will find inspiration for your writing here, be it from a visiting musician, or, if one isn’t performing that night in the dimly lit lounge area, from the music you’ll hear over the speakers, which sets a positive, relaxed mood with songs ranging from elaborate jazz numbers to acoustic versions of radio hit singles.

Best of all, you can take it from this English major that you will find plenty of other writers—creative and scholarly—frequenting the premises throughout the day.

So, consider venturing outside your home, campus, or typical coffee shop and exploring other places where inspiration can find you. Maybe a change of setting is all you need to dive into the next stage of your writing process.

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