The Writer’s Art of Eavesdropping

13 Jun 2019


I’m nosey. I’ll be the first to admit it. But, when you spend multiple hours each day in a public coffee shop, it’s hard not to be.

As a writer whose home office is frequently overrun with noisy kids, I do a lot of my work from my favorite Starbucks. It’s really the perfect setting. I get free refills on my coffee (which every writer knows is a necessity), and have plenty of choices for both indoor and outdoor seating.

One of my favorite benefits, though, is the incredible conversations I get to overhear.

Now, before you judge me, let me explain… I never sit down, open my laptop, and then actively TRY to eavesdrop on conversations going on around me.

Actually, I generally try not to focus on what is going on around me, and instead put all of my attention into whatever project I am working on.

Frequently, though, those conversations are hard to ignore.

It always blows my mind that so many people are willing to discuss the intimate details of their lives in a public space. What surprises me more, though, is just how loud they discuss those things.

From play-by-play accounts of scandalous affairs to full blown screaming matches, I have heard it all. So much, in fact, that I have considered writing a book about my experiences at the coffee shop.

Through a little google research, I found that I am not the only nosey person looking to unveil the crazy things I hear in public.

This fascinating article from features a story about the creator of increasingly popular Instagram accounts, @overheardLA and @OverheardNewYork, and how he gained 2.6 MILLION Instagram followers through his stories of public eavesdropping.

The Instagram account, which features funny quotes that users heard in public, makes me realize that I am definitely not alone in my eavesdropping habits. It also makes me think that writing a book really is a great idea!

Jennifer Rizzo  
Jennifer Rizzo is a Denver based writer with a background in Healthcare, International Tour Management, Genealogical Research, and a passion for travel and languages. She studied Spanish at the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico and also lived and studied in Ancona, Italy. After spending nearly a decade working in the health care field, Jennifer has a well-rounded knowledge of hospital functionality, medical terminology, and disease processes. She has extended work experience with government medical benefits as well as Social Security law, which has allowed her to fine-tune her ability to sort through large amounts of medical records, research, and data, and turn that information into well written reports and case briefs. Since joining The Writers for Hire, Jennifer has written on vast array of topics and has done many in-depth ancestry research and family history projects. She has worked as Project Manager for various client websites, family history books, and RFPs, as well as other projects. She enjoys working closely with clients, and loves any opportunity that allows her to indulge her creative side.

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