How to feel like a ‘real’ writer

Today, the friend I was to have coffee and general book/writing/chatting with could not meet with me as her child was sick. You know who you are, and don’t worry, you are still forgiven 🙂 So my dilemma first thing this morning was that I was all dressed up with no where to go! I didn’t really fancy sitting in my freezing cold lounge room at the computer all day as it was cold and rainy outside.

My husband suggested that I arm myself with a laptop and head on down to a cafe to do some writing. I thought I’d give it a go.

I have to say that the transformation in my own mind was quite remarkable. Being ever so slightly dramatic (yes Dad I did just admit that… in writing), I think the grey rainy day appealed to me as I pulled my car up outside a little cafe I’ve been dying to go into for a while. It is a book cafe right near my house, and they have these lovely velvet chairs with gilt legs at the tables and books all around.

So, Hollywood version:

With my perfect lips shimmering under the gloss of my lipstick, and my very trendy ‘writers’ scarf draped jauntily around my neck, I stepped into the dark but cozy cafe and inhaled the smell of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the heady aroma of hundreds of fascinating books.

Approaching the young woman behind the counter, I granted her one of my best shining smiles in the knowledge that she was in awe both of my incredibly intelligent and ‘arty’ looks as well as the fact that I was clearly such a successful writer I was at liberty to lounge around in cafes all day just to get my creative juices flowing.

“Wow, it’s cold outside today! One regular latte and…. oh why not… a lamington please!”

“Sure, have here or take away?” (why she couldn’t tell that I was there to stay I have no idea, but she was young so I will excuse her obvious ignorance.)

“Have here please”

I made my way over to a table facing the window to afford me the best view of the passers by, the rain and my car (in case someone tried to steal it… well it would make a good story right!) I set up my lap top, plugged in my USB stick and set to work. Other cafe goers and the staff were clearly impressed and excited to have a person who was writing a novel gracing the seats of their cafe and tried to sneak peeks over my shoulder as I wrote.

For two hours I typed furiously while sipping on my perfectly creamy cafe latte and taking the occasional fork full of soft fluffy lamingon. Finally, having completed a whole new chapter of mind blowing, and incredibly original imaginative narrative to add to my already intriguing and well thought out novel, I packed up my things, smiled graciously at the young woman, thanked her, and walked gracefully into the rain. Having walked quickly to my vehicle to avoid my hair getting wet, I slipped into the shelter of my car and drove off feeling overwhelmingly warm and satisfied.

Right. Reality:

My lips were shiny with my lip gloss, but I think they might have also been blue with cold. My scarf was in fact haphazardly and rather precariously knotted around my neck in a vain attempt to try and stave off the biting wind.

The cafe was disappointingly sparsely furnished with a cold concrete floor and smelt pretty much like dusty mildewy books and was most definitely NOT warm! Although since at the time I was writing about my main character visiting a hermit wizard in a swamp at his shack, it actually did provide some visual and nasal inspiration for that scene.

The young woman behind the counter was charming and I’m pretty sure she was probably a little confused about my appearance there since the cafe was otherwise empty and to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in it!

I typed fairly consistently for two hours, and did in fact get rather a lot of my novel written. However, reading it back I can’t be entirely sure that I hadn’t read it somewhere else recently. So I may have inadvertently re-written something I had read in another fantasy novel. I really must check on that before I attempt to send it to any publishers!

The coffee was waaaaayyyy too sweet and I think she may have ‘burnt’ the milk so it wasn’t so much creamy and frothy, although the lamington was very yummy. That will have been brought in from a nearby bakery though, and it was quite early in the morning so it should have been fresh.

Eventually I had to leave because my shoulders were aching (those lovely chairs are really not that comfortable) and I was starting to lose feeling in my feet from the cold! I packed everything up in a hurry and dashed into the pouring rain, unable to avoid getting my hair all frizzy with moisture, and jumped in my car all tangled up in my scarf, lap top bag, and car keys. I rushed home, put all the heaters on and curled up under a blanket to try and warm up before pick from school time came around!

You know what though? It was fun actually, and while I’ll have to search for a warmer cafe with better coffee, I think I might be found ‘gracing’ the tables of Sydney cafes for inspiration more often in the future!

Have a great weekend….wet if you live in Sydney!


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One Response to How to feel like a ‘real’ writer

  1. KL says:

    **********This reply was to “bardicblogger” who left a comment on my post about ‘how to feel like a ‘real’ writer” – My computer crashed while I was trying to approve and reply and now your comment seems to be gone! ‘bardicblogger’ I’m sorry about that!
    Yes, I can see how cafes would would only be a ‘sometimes’ solution for gaining inspiration. I really found that there were less distractions though. For example, I often find myself at home saying, “I’ll just put a load of washing on. Now I’ll do the ironing. Better take the dog for a walk….etc etc”. In Sydney it’s pretty normal to see people with laptops in most cafes, so that’s not an issue. You could use the self conscious feelings as fodder for your writing too though. Imagining what people might be thinking about you and add a twist and some mystery and you have a new idea for a character or a scene! Thanks for liking my post though!

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