‘I snigger when people tell me they want to be a writer’

Jul 24, 2018
Writing a good story is no easy task.

This is a first for me. I am sitting in a café with my laptop and coffee, writing with passion. So many times, I have been to a café and enviously watched writers sitting with their laptop or iPad tapping away. Today it is me, and what an achievement it is.

I feel like a writer and hope venturing out to create in public will prove beneficial. Often people ask, “What do you do?”, which is a difficult question to answer. In response, other than listing my basic achievements in learning Tai Chi and bragging about my grandchildren, I add, I write. 

This is a good conversation opener that inevitably proceeds with my co-conversationalist responding, “What do you write? What have you published?” Then their quick follow up, “I have always wanted to write”. Avoiding question one and two, I suppress a snigger and respond with, “Good for you, get to it”, knowing it takes a lot of courage, confidence, and time to just get started, let alone to share your work.

Sitting here, hopefully looking the part, my ego begs an interested person to approach and ask if I am a writer. Today, is a good day and I will confidently respond with a yes. There is no writer’s block, no effort, just a feeling that I can put my fingers to the keyboard and come up with something interesting. Mostly, I am too self-conscious to share my work, but today I am not afraid to put myself out there, to declare my passion.

I recall the five essential elements of writing: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste and consider them, as I will my thoughts to make sense on the page. The overriding smell and sound comes courtesy of the café coffee machine, which is spitting out its morning perk, tempting me with its delicious and comforting aroma. 

It is early at this café, with one other person sitting down to breakfast. The poignant ambience is as relevant as the name, Books for the Soul Café. There is gentle, spiritual music playing in the background and all around are bookshelves full of inspiration and treasures that could help me grow, change and become a more relaxed, mindful individual. I feel at home here, already I am in love with its space and atmosphere. 

There are no ravenous typing bursts from my fingers, the pace is just right, my thoughts just flow. My first caffeine beverage is drained, filling me with energy and self-assurance. I order breakfast, it seems I will need nutrition to support the connection of my enthused mind and eager fingers.  

Engrossed, I feel the presence of more people entering the café. I can overhear other conversations, but a calmness tells me not to listen, just tune them out and stay on task. I consume my breakfast with relish, looking around at newly seated customers. Most meet my age group, older but youthful, with plenty of time to sit and enjoy breakfast. They too have no urgency and are content to enjoy the comfort and peace afforded here.  

Their presence moves to the background. Distantly, I hear idle chatter, the crinkling and folding of newspapers, cups re-claiming their China saucers and knives and forks quietly scraping plates. The hum is comforting, as is the gentle laughter emitted from a small group further into the café. It mingles with the distant thrum of the outside world.

I wonder how long I can dedicate this passion to my script. I suspect for not much longer as a close conversation is invading my space. I try hard not to listen, but their banter is interesting. I lift my head to observe the nearby table. It is occupied by two females, one older, one younger. They appear to be close, but not related. They do not look alike, but their conversation is personal. They seem to know each other well, but they are also distant. There are no reassuring hand gestures or familiar brushes of the arm. They appear equal in the relationship and conversation. No one is holding the floor or being bossy. Their voice tones and pitch are consistent and friendly. I am now beyond interested! I wonder…

I pack up my laptop, it is time to leave. My writer’s mind has wandered to other places, I cannot concentrate. I want to stay, listen, observe and gather more background for my next story; it is about two mysterious women who meet regularly at a local café.

Are you a writer? Where do you like to write?

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