Eric LeGrand Faces a New Journey as Coffee House Owner

Eric LeGrand Has a Vision for a Coffee House

The vision of building a coffee shop started during 2020. Now, Eric LeGrand has opened his coffee house on May 14,. LeGrand Coffee House is located at 10 Green Street Woodbridge, New Jersey, LeGrand’s hometown, and as stated on the website, “will be sourcing extraordinary coffees from a local roaster and serve traditional baked goods and food items.” 


There are four main types of coffee available at the LeGrand Coffee House store right now:

  • Columbia: “A single-origin medium roast with hints or red apple and orange mixed with a milk chocolate flavor.”
  • Costa Rica: “A single-origin medium roast with hints of dark chocolate and a sweet, tropical taste” 
  • Guatemala: “A single-origin medium roast with full body and hints of caramel, grapefruit and chocolate flavor.”
  • Sumatra: “A single-origin dark roast with an unique taste that is highlighted by a profile of chocolatey and earthy flavors.” 

We “bELieve” the LeGrand Coffee House Will be a Success

Eric Legrand was a defensive lineman for Rutgers University in New Jersey who severely injured his spinal cord during a game against Army on October 16, 2010. Afterwards a fund named “beELieve” was set up by the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to support Eric and his family.

In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Eric decided he wanted to start not only a brand of coffee but own a coffee house as well. “LeGrand says he wasn’t a big coffee drinker, but he noticed a lot of people he interacts with are,” according to an article from ABC channel 7 in New York. 

In the article, LeGrand spoke about his new found interest in coffee. “It all started with a bunch of texts with friends and a group message over the past spring and summer, always sipping our coffee and it gave the idea – I’ve always loved cafes, I wasn’t a big coffee drinker but the opportunity presented itself.”

Building a Welcoming Community for Woodbridge, NJ

During the interview with ABC7, Eric said, “My hometown has a huge place in my heart, they’ve always supported me and had my back through my injury and even before that and always supported me in everything I did, so I wanted my coffee house to bring my community together.”

People are excited for the opening of LeGrand Coffee House and are happy for the amazing feat of creating a business after a debilitating injury twelve years ago. He didn’t get discouraged and now he has a business where he has a positive attitude everyday. He looks forward to what the town can create as a whole, putting differences aside. 

Eric LeGrand has a great vision and I’m excited to see what the town can create with the influence of LeGrand Coffee House. Maybe they can do a similar thing that The Coffee House has done in the neighboring town of Edison. 

Learn more about Eric and his journey in this video:

How to Write After Facing Rejection from a Publishing Company

Writers can face many rejections through their careers, such as rejection from a publishing company, a book not selling as well as an author thought it would, or even disapproval from friends and family. Sometimes writers may get discouraged from these rejections, but none of these should stir that writer away from writing what they have to write. It’s fine to get discouraged, but perseverance is key. But how does a writer do that when they’re told by a publishing company, “We just didn’t connect with the material?” Let me break that down for you.

J.K. Rowling is by far one of the most prolific writers who ever lived. Harry Potter is beloved by millions and has garnered billions of dollars in revenue not only for her, but for her publisher as well. However, Rowling was rejected 12 times before she finally found a publisher who would take a chance on her, an unpublished author at the time. And even though she was broke, that didn’t stop her. She had the passion to continue her project that they thought was nothing more than a joke. The publishers didn’t think that a young boy with a wand and a fat man with long hair and a beard could succeed in a book. And with her endless perseverance, all it took was one yes. Afterwards, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling became household names. She faced the pain and didn’t let it stop her, just as your pain and failures shouldn’t stop you.

Publishing companies are shrewd. There are only so many books that they can accept, and that number is no where near the amount of submissions they receive. That shouldn’t discourage you as there are alternative routes that writers can take, such as self-publishing. Maybe this route won’t give you the millions you dream of making, but if it gets your work of art in front of a reader, it is a success. I have been an Independent writer for most of my writing career, and I have faced criticism from those who have read my books. That it is a part of writing. I heard somewhere before, whether they criticize you or compliment you, you are doing something right. It means they are giving your work attention. 

The most important thing is to not let rejection stop you. Write anyway. Use the frustration and let it fuel your writing. Instead of feeling down and depressed that your work hasn’t been accepted, keep writing anyway. All it takes is one ‘yes.’ And if not, self-publish. For more tips on writing, check out my audiobook, Your Writing: Tips on Making Your Amazon Kindle Book Great, narrated by Chiquito Joaquim Crasto.  It is a short audiobook on the process of making a Kindle book, which is a good start in writing an independent book.

Don’t get discouraged by a publishing rejection; writers have many options besides big publishers. And remember that the most successful writers never walked away from their passion, no matter how hard life got for them.

How to Get Comfortable Writing in an Uncomfortable Place

You have only a short time to write. You’re far from home so you can’t go to your usual Starbucks. And unfortunately, you have to write today, because the rest of your week is taken up by family plans, work-related things, and a doctors appointment. There’s a coffee shop around the corner that you’ve never been to before. You feel a flash of anxiety at the thought of writing in a new place. How do you calm yourself down to write when, by the time you get settled in, it will be time to go?

Something I’ve learned in the past few years is how to overcome negative feelings and writing when it was uncomfortable to write. Sometimes dealing with the crowd and the noise of a new place can distract you from your goal. So, how do you settle down to write with all these anxieties?

Breathing Exercises

When you feel anxious, trying focus on your breathing. Certain breathing exercises can help center yourself and help you not to feel as anxious. That feeling of centeredness can help you to focus your emotions, and as a result, your writing. 

Listen to Relaxing Music

They say music soothes the savage beast, and often listening to music can help your writing mood. As a bonus, it can also spark the muse and improve your writing. Some relaxing music can settle your mind, allowing you to block out the distractions around you, and let you concentrate on your writing.

Don’t Force Yourself

In other words, relax. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially in a particularly strong bout of anxiety. But when we relax, our flow state comes much more naturally, and the stress just melts away.

If you’re unable to relax, then maybe it’s just your body telling you it doesn’t want to write right now. Maybe now is a good time to journal. Use that chance to get your emotions out onto paper instead of letting them eat away in your head. Who knows, maybe it will create a brainstorm for your next project.

When you are stressed out in an uncomfortable place you may not write well.  That’s no reason to panic! If you get stressed, try talking it out.  There are plenty of people in your life you can open up to about your problems; even some of the folks at Joe’s Writers’ Club would be happy to lend an ear.  Come check it out! We share some information that may help you feel relaxed and overcome your writing fears. It is up to you to do it and follow through. Joe’s Writers’ Club has been very supportive of my writing and has helped me gain my confidence. They will be supportive of your endeavors, too.

Bottom line, writing is not supposed to be stressful. However, sometimes it can be. So the best thing to do is take it easy and relax. Using some of these skills will help you ease into writing. 

How to Write When You Have Anxiety

What happens if you offend your boss or your company? How about if you offend your significant other, your family, or your friends in your writing? What if there was a backlash involved? You may start to develop anxiety and have a grave fear over your next post. You may wonder if you are going to write again because of that fear, especially if that blog post is on Twitter or Facebook. In drastic instances, you may even end up getting fired. Many famous people lost their celebrity endorsements because they said the wrong thing or went hysterical and offended someone. But then the anxiety settles in and there is fear. How do you recover from anxiety and fear over writing again?

When you have anxiety and fear about your next writing project, there are several steps you can take in overcoming it. First, if the anxiety is severe enough, seek professional help, such as a therapist. They can help you overcome your anxieties.

You can also seek out a life coach to help overcome anxiety. One example of a life coach is Anthony Robbins. Coaches help you to overcome that fear by helping you to embrace the challenges you may face with writing. Maybe you can’t overcome it right away, but you will be able to deal with it. 

If a professional life coach is not a viable option, you can always try motivational tapes, like the Anthony Robbins Personal Power Series. It came out in the 1980s, and many people have been helped by the series. It talks about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and how people get programmed. These same people have had bad experiences so they stick to comfortable experiences as a way to avoid anxiety. This program is helpful because it allows users to identify that programming and change. These programs take time, but the techniques have been effective. 

Also, a few books that are helpful are The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life and Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. These books have proven helpful to me. They broke down the worries and helped me to get out of my own way. They also help readers to gain the courage to act. In one of Manson’s stories from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*cK, he wrote about Charles Bukowski and his fight to write. Bukowski spent many days on the streets homeless and drunk because he sacrificed to keep writing and working on books that were not very successful. But he didn’t care about his financial security; he would rather do something he loved such as write rather than work at the post office where he was miserable everyday. Eventually, his hard work paid off. Like he stated in his poem, “If you are going to go all the way, go all the way.” Charles Bukowski went all the way. 

Sometimes you have to face your fears of rejection, humiliation, and anxiety to be able to write again. Fear will keep you down, and it will act like poison to the writer which is why it is good to use some of these techniques to get your writing back again. There are many other books besides the one I listed about that might help you face those fears.

Anxiety can be a troubling thing to many writers, but don’t lose hope. There is always help. You can be encouraged to do what you love again. Many writers or authors have had fears or anxieties of publishing and many have fears of even writing that prevent them from doing so. Some say, “I will write,” but fear the process and fear the rejection. Writers need the ability to face rejection. Some projects will fail; that is a part of life. But it takes a strong person to gain courage again for the next story. 

A little story of mine is that when I made some unfavorable, hysterical blog posts that got me in trouble. I faced the ridicule from friends and family that followed. Most of that stuff I could have left in a personal journal just for me. As a result, I started to develop a fear of posting my writing to the public. It was a trying time for me as a writer. But through encouragement and good support, I gained the courage to publish my work again. Facing anxieties and fears as a writer is not easy, but gaining the courage and posting to write is worth it. Think of all the lives that will be touched with your testimony when making a comeback to writing. Also, it is something that you can be proud of when you do start writing again.

Writing When You Can’t Go To Your Favorite Place Anymore

You have been going to your local coffee shop like Starbucks to write. Or maybe you enjoy writing at local library. Then all of a sudden the Coronavirus hits. You are thrusted into writing in an environment you don’t want to write in. You have to write at home, which isn’t always good, especially when aggravation rises from being cooped up with your family. When you are in lockdown and can’t go to where you want to go, it sucks. Then things started opening up and you could write outside, but that leads to swatting at flies, dodging bees, or running away from spiders. Safe to say, you have trouble concentrating during this time. So what do you do? How do you keep your confidence up in a time that doesn’t look good?

With any lockdown situation, you have to make the best of a worst situation. This is what Joe’s Writers’ Club did. What turned into an in-person meeting became an online presence. The meeting stayed open and we continued to meet virtually. We started Google Chats with each other and used other means of communication such as Zoom.  Everyone has been working hard at putting a product out there that can help writers of all kinds. 

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Joe’s Writers’ Club has improved my confidence.  It has helped me to work and contribute to a cause greater than my own.  Even with Corona going on, it didn’t stop me as a writer. It was just a matter of facing the storm. Sometimes as a writer we have to get comfortable writing somewhere new. Times are rough right now, but if your family is interrupting your writing, you can use a pair of headphones to avoid their distraction. I know it’s not easy, but sooner or later things will get better.

You probably had a favorite place that went to everyday, and unfortunately, some businesses closed down permanently. Maybe even your favorite coffee shop. But it’s best to not get discouraged. You will find a new place when this pandemic is over. And you may have to try different places to find out which one feels best for you. For now, that’s not so easy. Lots of places, like Starbucks, are still not allowing people to stay inside for long periods of time. So unless you’ve found comfort at home or in a park, writing hasn’t been the easiest.

Thankfully, the worst may have passed with all of the vaccines that have been administered. (I’m not saying if getting vaccinated is right or wrong; that decision is yours to make.) All I’m saying is maybe in time we will write where we did before, but as of now with a writer it is a matter of learning to be comfortable writing in uncomfortable places. It just takes stepping out of your comfort zone to get to the point where you feel at ease. Maybe a library is open. Maybe you can sit outside a coffee house. Just don’t lose hope. Things will get better.

How to Write When You Have Bipolar Disorder?

With moods of happiness and anger and other mood swings associated with bipolar disorder, writing can be difficult. This is because people with bipolar disorder can act on impulse. Things like this can be intimidating, disorienting. Such as writing something without thinking that is threatening. This can alert the local authorities to knock at your door under the suspicion that you or someone else may be in danger, which leads you to more trouble just because of your writing. 
Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

So after spending time in the hospital or in jail (depending on the severity of your words), how do you make a comeback and gain confidence in writing again? How do you know what is okay to write and what is not? You know you were manic and you feel bad that you wrote such a thing and now you are afraid to write again and show it to the public. What do you do when you may have lost your job over something you might have said in a blog or article? 

First, don’t panic; it’s not the end of the world. You may need to start journaling more for yourself and not to posting your thoughts if you are angry. You might regret what you once wrote and think you’ll never write again, but this is a phase. This is why you may need to journal and not put everything out there to the public. If anything, it could save you from further damage along the way. Journaling is a good thing, especially if you are ready to go hysterical and threaten someone. Some things are best left unsaid. 
Then you are going to need to ask yourself: would I say this in public or would someone want to hear it? Also, will someone find what you wrote offensive? 
These are questions you want to ask yourself. The initial impulse may seem good at the time, but as I said, it may backfire. It is best to use discretion. Another thing: when you are writing, it’s best to ask your friends for help. Not everything is perfect and will often need editing. You may come across in a certain way in your writing that could leave a negative impression. An editor will help you polish things up and keep you from offending anyone. Especially a demographic that may be isolated. An editor can turn you from a hysteric psychopath into a sincere writer with strong concerns, as well as showing you some mistakes and save you from public embarrassment! And an editor can counsel you or help spot something when your writing takes a manic turn. 
Having bipolar disorder may not be working in your favor if you are a writer. I have bipolar disorder, and I am a writer. I have made one too many mistakes and gotten in trouble with my writing. Even if you don’t have bipolar disorder, it’s a good idea to monitor yourself before hitting Publish on your posts. Some people have lost their jobs, gone to the hospital, or even went to jail with something written in a blog or an email. 
Use techniques such as journaling and seek the advice of an editor. They will help you out. It is better to prevent mistakes before they happen. And if you do make a mistake, don’t worry about it. It is not the end of the world. You will gain your confidence back. And the next question to ask is how to get your confidence back again especially when it has taken a hit in social media. If you are a writer this next blog will help you prepare if your self-esteem has sunk after an unfavorable post. How do you build your esteem up again?

How to Write and Comeback from a Breakup in a Relationship?

You’re in a relationship and your significant other has left you. Man or woman, the breakup is not easy on you. You don’t feel happy and are down in the dumps. How do you build your confidence up especially when you feel like a failure that it didn’t succeed. Also, if you were living with the other person, then you may be thinking of looking for another home or an apartment. However, most importantly you can’t concentrate on your writing. So how can you get your confidence in writing again?

First, you are going to have to take time to heal with the ending of the relationship. Getting out of the relationship is not easy. There is always damage whether it is your mental state or your physical state. Your body and mind need healing. You don’t recover right away especially when you are angry or feeling down at the time, it is not the best time to write because you may say the wrong thing and may get yourself in more hot water as it is. Sometimes it is best to journal if you are coming out of a relationship. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Journaling could be useful in a time like this. Sometimes you may do a blog out of anger and it may backfire and you will be in more heat then before. The world doesn’t need to know you are in pain. You may think it is good, but some things are best not said especially if you may be out to hurt the other person. However, this would be a good time to channel it constructively, maybe in the story you are writing. As long as you change the names, location, and profession, you may be able to write about a person like that. It is just that you don’t want to use real names or identifying characteristics. This may hurt their identity or get you into hot water. 

Also, you may need to have some activity to keep you busy during this time of stress. You may have more time on your hands than anticipated. And you may have loneliness settle in. Do something to pick yourself up and watch comedies. This will help you to feel better or if you want to stay in the mood, then write yourself out of it to build up your confidence. 

There is no easy way to recover out of a relationship, the damage will have been done. So it is best to recover and start turning your focus into writing again. Build your confidence up little by little. Maybe you can’t concentrate in the beginning and you are angry. Instead of blogging it and airing it out to the world, write it in a journal and get it out. 

I should have taken this advice as a writer years ago when I was going through my fallout from a relationship. I aired my dirty laundry for everyone to see and damaged my reputation. Doing that and especially when it is in public, it hurts. So use common sense and don’t act out, act rationally when you are coming out of a relationship. Journal and then come up with a creative story. And if you are blogging, then blog while consciously thinking of what you are writing about and not just a reaction coming out of your relationship. 

And if you are getting out of a relationship and you have no one, it will get better. Maybe it is a good time to reevaluate many things such as what you want to do with your life, or maybe it can be a lesser “grand epiphany” such as dusting that old story off that has been sitting on the shelf and needs to be brought back to life again. So it can be a blessing in disguise. Don’t get hung up on him or her. Write that next project and see where it will take you. You will be surprised on the journey your writing will take you on.

Finding the Time to Write in a Tough Relationship

Relationships aren’t perfect. There is not one day in a relationship where you can say that I just want to go to a Starbucks or a coffee shop and write. If you’re in a relationship and you are a writer, you want that alone time to write, and go somewhere where you can concentrate. It doesn’t work that way. You will have your significant other complain, saying he/she wants to go out with you. Sometimes it’s because they don’t trust you and want to keep an eye on you. Being the attentive partner you are, you give in and next thing you know you’re waiting in line one hour getting his or her lattes. Half of the time the drink isn’t right and you will have to spend another hour trying to fix it. Finally, you sit down fuming. Do you have the concentration to write?  Meanwhile your loving partner is saying underneath his/her breath, “Sucker.” They just spent one hour of their time working on what they wanted to do while you were the idiot getting the drinks for the hour or more. Now let me ask you when you are fuming where does this give you time to work and write. 

Photo by Justin Follis on Unsplash

Whether you are a man or a woman and you want to write and you are meeting with your significant other you think in your mind, you don’t want to hang out with your bae; you want to write, but they insist on coming out anyway. And all they do is talk all the time. You get annoyed so you send them for runs to get drinks as often as you can, but you can’t concentrate anyway. You are annoyed that this person whom embodies all your love and inspiration just talks all the time, and you aren’t getting any work done. With these problems, how do people in a relationship write? How do you set boundaries?

Now you are a writer trying to get a project finished, how do you concentrate in that relationship situation? I’m not even going to mention if you have a job and you are raising kids in a relationship.  Where does that time go to write?

I once read somewhere that you can spend one hour writing a day. Rather it is thirty minutes on your lunch break and thirty minutes in the morning. You can find time to write to be fulfilled. Maybe spending time with your significant other should be a time to spend with your significant other to do fun stuff rather than work on writing. Maybe you can read in that time you are out. As for the guy or a girl, if you know that you can’t concentrate out, don’t attempt to put pressure on yourself and write. Writing should be when you enjoy the process, it shouldn’t be where you are rushed with your time. 

Maybe a strategy should be changed, maybe you can stay home and write. Maybe you can’t concentrate, but if you set boundaries and say this is my time I need to write. Maybe you need to write earlier as I said or somewhere private in the house and even the kitchen is a good place, it has coffee there. Any time you can get to write would be good. And it is best to do this without your significant other being there, and if she or he is there, then you can plan for what you want to work on. Just prepare that you may not accomplish everything that you want to accomplish. 

Relationships can be a struggle, but not writing when you are a writer, it can be more of a struggle. And if you can add the two together, it can be stressful. So it takes strategy and planning and coming up with goals in order to write. And most important setting a strategy where you can write, maybe finding a space in your home or maybe writing early in the day or on lunch. And it can be easy without having a laptop on you, maybe you have a smart phone and you have an app where you can write. And maybe it takes twenty minutes in The Thinking Room to write, and maybe sitting on the Porcelain Throne can help you to write that masterpiece that you wanted. Just be prepared for your significant other to be worried what is taking you so long. Also, at least an hour a day of writing can help to get you into a routine. These are some loopholes you can use to help you write in a relationship while you are struggling. If you are a guy my advice is not to send her on line for an hour to get your drink to write, chances are you will get the drink, but you will have more time to write after because she may leave you afterwards. So be smart and use the techniques wisely. Just stay focused and don’t get discouraged, you will be able to write when you are in a relationship.

How to Face Depression and Keep on Working on a a Writing Project

Imagine being a writer and feeling down all the time and not having the motivation to write. Imagine having a depression that prevents you from doing anything. Writing was something that you enjoy, but you don’t feel like you felt the way you were before. When I faced depression, it was like being stuck in bed for days and not wanting to get out. It was utter misery. I didn’t want to hear from anyone who would have helped me out and I lost interest in my craft. Why does something like this happen where we lose our confidence and stay in depression. How does someone get out of this mess so they can work on their writing project again?

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

There are many reasons why someone can become depressed. It can be a bad situation with a relationship, a work situation, and a family situation. Also, an individual may lose the confidence to write due to negative feedback or criticisms received regarding their writing projects. But let’s focus on the lost confidence. Many times confidence could be lost by looking at a blank screen and you struggle with writing even a single word. It may just be depression settling in because you are fighting against yourself to write those very words. This is the reality for a writer, and it can be crippling. Before you were a writer who could come up with very good storylines and now you are stuck at a blank page.  

How does somebody get their confidence back to do what they love such as writing? There are many steps such as journaling and writing exercises to build your confidence up. For me the exercise of composing this blog series helped me build the confidence I needed to write again. I have struggled recently with my confidence in writing and in other areas of life. It helps me to become a part of something bigger than myself with Joe’s Writers’ Club. 

As for journaling, it helps by getting my thoughts on paper and gives me the structure to release those anxieties. Journaling for me means you can put anything down on the paper and you can map out your thoughts.

Another thing that has helped me so much with my depression was therapy. With therapy you can get your thoughts straight to overcome your fears. Also, it helps give you somebody to talk to who can understand and relate to your problems. It is the same as having a coach who could lead you to embrace your depression. Maybe your therapist or your coach can give you writing exercises to build your confidence up again. I am not a doctor, but going to a therapist may help out. 

Another thing that may help out  is listening to motivational tapes or videos on YouTube. This will help give you strength to gain more confidence. Also, reading some self-help books can help. My favorite authors to read are Jack Canfield, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins, or Brian Tracy. If you find any of your own favorite authors please let me know.

These are some tips that will help someone to face depression. Depression can be a daunting thing, but depression can be dealt with, and you can get your confidence back. Depression can be an ongoing thing throughout life. It can be rough feeling down and not getting the writing satisfaction you need, but a great solution to this problem is having fun with writing exercises which help you think and write again. Sometimes changing strategies can help you to write again.