frustrated writer lets loose in coffee shop

Another day, another café, another attempt at keeping it real with the new novel. I haven’t been to this café for weeks and weeks. I bet they thought I was dead. That’s what I think when a regular stops showing up.

‘Hey, where’s Flat White, Not Too Hot, Guy?’

Was he killed on the weekend? Was that him that slid off the side of a mountain, they said there was no evidence of braking in the tire marks. Was that him? What? Over doing it? Me? You don’t think people you haven’t seen for a while have died?

Speaking of dead, I think that’s where the new book is. Shuffled off this mortal coil to good ideas heaven.

Sometimes I’m asked what it takes to write a book. The Big Question. My answer has varied from you must enjoy making sentences, you must have commitment to an idea, you must be looking to impress someone, but mostly I go with Immersion. You must be immersed.

Immersion needs space and it needs time. Since I joined the rat race – that’s me next to you on the treadmill – I don’t have time. I’m immersed in figuring how to do it all and telling myself to shut the fuck up and get on with it. Why makes you so special? Look out there into the world; they’re doing it all.

On the plus side, last week I learned how to poach eggs in two different ways. At work on Monday I learned the traditional stove top method and surprised myself by turning out egg after egg of poachy goodness, round, soft, yolky, pleasing to the eye. On Wednesday at work, a different workplace, a smaller kitchen, I learned how to poach eggs in the microwave. I watched the eggs morph from clear to white. We slipped the eggs onto toast, salt, pepper, and they were remarkable. I can poach the hell out of an egg now.

Four jobs. All part time. Three cafes and one children’s writing work shop. Last week I started two new jobs. Last Wednesday I went to three different workplaces. This from someone who has a problem with making plans and has a thousand ways to say ‘maybe’. All of my plans are in brackets and all of contingencies have contingencies.

I suppose some working writers say, ‘organization’ when they’re asked the Big Question. If there’s a less thrilling word than ‘organization’ I’d pay, using someone else’s money, to find out what it is.

I plan to get a planner and I intend to become organized.




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