Whether you’re writing a local pantomime or an Oscar-winning screenplay, there are a few things that have become synonymous with writers. For Stephen J. Cannell, the classic closing credit for The A-Team showed his page being ripped from a typewriter and magically transformed into a logo. For Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, the typewriter formed part of the opening theme about the renowned murder mystery novelist turned busybody detective. Isn’t it about time Cabot Cove had a scoreboard alongside their signboard with population size?

coffee inspiration or kryptonite

While the 1980s threw up some classic typewriter associations with writers, there’s another thing that have become recognised as a typical writer thing. A beverage that has become the equivalent of a rubberstamp when it comes to screenplays, even spoofed as a stamp to show how much work was done on a script. That convention is so engrained that we made it part of out logo. Apart from the type print, the reviewmyscript.com logo is encircled by… yes, a coffee stain. This circular coffee on paper design is a staple of the writing process, whether romanticised or not, and explains why we have it.

Beyond coffee’s direct connection to the writing process, it’s a mainstay for films and television too as characters form indelible connections with coffee stores or Starbucks chain stores. Think of Monk’s, Cafe Nervosa or Central Perk… moving from the ’80s to the ’90s when it comes to television references. The hot brown (or black) liquid says a lot about a character and is probably an overflow beyond coffee stains on the page. When a screenwriter has writer’s block, they probably make a coffee… or look around the room and discover their “World’s Greatest Screenwriter” mug and try to dream a little.

As inspirational and connective as the magic coffee bean has made itself, there are many reasons it’s one of the most popular beverages in the world. Delicious, energizing and linked to a number of health benefits, what’s not to love. The big question on everyone’s minds… apart from the Swedish who consume 8-9 cups of coffee a day, is how much coffee is too much?

According to the FDA, it’s best to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day – the equivalent of four to five cups of brewed coffee. What this doesn’t tell you is what exactly constitutes a cup. The amount of caffiene varies depending on the type of coffee beans, the brewing method and even the size of the cup. Consider the Starbucks venti, which can max out your daily allowance with 475 milligrans!

Luckily, it’s easy to figure out if you’re having a healthy amount with the side effects quite pronounced, including: anxiety, insomnia and headaches in some people. Had lots of coffee that day, possibly too much, that’s why you got the shakes and cleaned the entire house instead of sit down a work.

As hardened screenwriters, the temptation is to take regular breaks the way smokers need to step outside. You may be doing both! It’s a great idea to stand up, walk around and loosen up so that you don’t create muscular issues around being hunched over that keyboard – before you consider speech recognition software to enable you to kick your feet up. Making a cup gives us a great excuse to stretch but if you’re putting in a full day of writing, you may stumble into the habit of making too many cups! Adding sugar and cream, also makes the ritual even more of a health hazard… so try to be mindful.

Drinking coffee the first thing in the morning can spike your coritsol levels, so it’s suggested you hold back until an hour after you’ve woken up to give your body a chance to get started before you through the fuel on the fire. It’s also a good idea to stop drinking your coffee at 4pm to avoid messing up your sleep patterns.

Before you think it’s all doom and gloom, coffee has a number of amazing health benefits. Unless the coffee companies have paid for the research. It’s a pretty big industry if you think about it and if anything should be getting cheaper to make! Here’s a list of what your coffee “habit” could be helping you with… in moderation of course.

– Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
– Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
– Reduced risk of some types of cancer, such as liver cancer and endometrial cancer
– Improved cognitive function
– Improved mood and reduced risk of depression

So before you make another cup of Joe… think about it. Remember to taste it (you’ll be surprised!) and add some incense and popcorn if you want to do it like they do in Ethiopia.

Is Coffee a Screenwriter’s Inspiration or Kryptonite?
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