I read an article in The Age this morning about Ernest Hemingway penning stories in cafes. I discovered the beauty of writing in cafes when I was in Brisbane on a month long May Gibbs Residency last year. It was truly wonderful having ME all to myself 24/7 – living with my characters and the world they inhabit, cooking dinner and cleaning up for one instead of four. Life was so simple.
However, when it came to writing a chapter from scratch, I felt it hard to sit down and concentrate. This has always been the hardest part of the writing process for me. I find excuses to leave my desk – make a cup of tea, take Saffy for a walk, check my email, even weed the garden, or write a blog. (See, I’m procrastinating now).
So I would go down by the Brisbane River with my notebook and pen in hand, find the right cafe and the right table (these two factors are very important) order a chai latte and write my new chapter. I found that I could really focus which surprised me, because I can’t even read a book with the TV or radio on.
After about an hour or so, I would take the chapter back to my apartment and type it onto my laptop, adding to it as I went.
I churned out a chapter a day this way.
I’ve come to a sticky chapter in Little Paradise, so I’ll be off now to my favourite cafe before I find anymore excuses not to write.