Tokyo’s Manuscript Writing Cafe won’t let you leave until you finish your novel.
Cafés can be lovely places to grab a coffee and a snack while you noodle around with your writing project, but the thing they’ve long been missing is cold, hard accountability. Well, no more, thanks to The Manuscript Writing Cafe!
The Tokyo café was designed to help writers trying to hit deadlines—so much so that you aren’t allowed in unless you have one, and you can’t leave unless you meet it. A sign in the café explains: “The Manuscript Writing Cafe only allows in people who have a writing deadline to face! It’s in order to maintain a level of focus and tense atmosphere at the cafe!”
For people who thrive with external pressure and constant oversight (hi, yes, sorry to my agent), this place sounds like a godsend. The rules are as follows:
1. Upon entering the store, write down at the reception desk how many words and by what time you are going to write your manuscript.
2. The manager asks you every hour how your manuscript is coming along.
3. You are not allowed to leave the store until you have finished writing your manuscript or writing project.
The café charges by the hour (so the whole “you can’t leave till you’re finished” is actually a pretty savvy business decision). To me, though, the “just circling back” manager is the most brilliant touch—nothing will get me writing faster than trying to avoid explaining my stunningly low productivity to another human.
Petition to franchise these in the US!