This morning, F has an 8:00 dentist appointment. Because we only have one car, this means I, too, left the house at 7:30. Because there’s no way I was going to get to work more than an hour early, F dropped me off at the (one and only) local coffee shop.
I’m sitting at this coffee shop now, surrounded by students and retirees and people my own age who I imagine must be famous writers hard at work on their next novels. Or they’re like me and just posing as famous writers hard at work on their next novels before scurrying off to their day jobs.
I wonder if they’re looking at me, as I’m looking at them, and thinking, “She must be a Writer. She must be living the wonderful Writing Life, spending her day at the coffee shop penning Important Things.”
Because that is what real Writers do, right?
I’m sure I’m not alone in daydreaming about my ideal writing life. You know, the life you’ll have once you sell your smash-hit debut novel. In this hilarious post, for instance, author Carrie Ryan shares her expectations for the writing life, and then in an equally hilarious post, reveals its reality.
I’m going to steal this concept and share my own ideal writing life with the promise that when I have made it as a real, published Writer, I will give you Part 2: The Reality.
But now, the dream:
I’ll still get up before the sun because I love curling up on the couch in my dark house with my cat, my coffee, and my laptop. I’ll write for two hours or so, then pause to make F pancakes before he heads off to work in one of our two cars. I’m a successful full-time writer now, but I don’t let it go to my head. We keep our raggedy yellow jeep and supplement with a sensible truck. F can even have the truck, because I’m generous that way.
I’ll head down to Northampton in my little yellow jeep. It’s about an hour drive, but that’s okay because I come up with my best ideas while driving long distances. Plus, I’ll have time to listen to some books on tape and admire the mountain ranges. Northampton has a wealth of coffee shops, so I’ll choose one for every day of the week. I’ll write for a few more hours, then visit the local colleges to talk to some students about plot and characters and words. I’ll stick around for impromptu book signings and grant a few interviews with college newspapers.
All before noon.
After a modest lunch at a classy diner, I’ll head to my part-time job as a baker, where I’ll decorate cupcakes for a little while before heading to the gym. On my way home, I’ll stop at the farmer’s market or the exotic grocery store for healthy yet delicious dinner ingredients. Then I’ll have time for a long bubble bath before getting started on dinner. When F gets home from work, we’ll eat (at the dining room table!) and top off our gourmet supper with those cupcakes I decorated all by myself. I will have no guilt about eating cupcakes every night because I’m a gym regular and I exercise my mind with eight hours of writing every day.
Writing, pancakes, coffee shops, cupcakes. That’s my writing life.
Time to pack up the laptop and get to work, so I’m going to wrap up abruptly—yet elegantly—with a few adverbs and a question. I’m sure we all have our ideal writing lives. So what does yours look like?