Is Caffeine A Writer’s Friend…Or Enemy?

Photo by "trophygeek" @ Flickr

Photo by “trophygeek” @ Flickr

Consuming caffeine (e.g. drinking coffee) seems to go hand in hand with writing, but have you ever stopped to think why? I mean, other than temporarily relieving sleepiness and increasing alertness, do writers actually notice any improvements in writing ability while consuming caffeine? I personally haven’t found that caffeine enhances my writing skills in any way. I sometimes write a bit faster if I’ve consumed large amounts of caffeine, but there’s never any noticeable difference in writing quality.

Obviously I’m not a scientist. I haven’t tested caffeine on numerous writers to track their responses. I’m not sure anyone has, really–but there have been many broad, less targeted studies performed throughout the world. Some studies suggest that:

In conclusion, a cup of Joe each day shouldn’t negatively impact your writing, but it probably won’t enhance your writing, either. So is caffeine a writer’s friend or enemy? Probably a little bit of both. Maybe you should try getting some extra sleep before grabbing for that extra cup (or two) tomorrow!

J.J. Hebert, the author of this article, is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of Unconventional and Weepy the Dragon. He has personally helped thousands of writers nationwide, through consultations and publishing services, and regularly blogs on writing and self-publishing. He is also the president and owner of MindStir Media, a leading self-publishing company that offers services such as mentoring from a bestselling author, book design, illustration, editing, printing, ebook conversion, distribution and marketing.