I’m writing this in a coffee shop. I could easily write it at home but that would mean that nobody would see what a pretentious wanker I am.
Plus there are no sexy baristas in my house, well apart from the one locked up in the attic but she’s seen better days.
Anyway, so here I am typing away with a determined look on my face, furiously bashing away on the keypad which I think makes me look passionate about what I’m writing but really makes me look as if I am sending an angry email to an ex-girlfriend. If anyone were to look across at me right now (which crucially no-one is) they might think there is a “writer”, someone who is working on the next big thing, the thing that will be considered the most influential piece of literature of the 21st century. Because really that’s what writers think, that’s why they leave the comfort of their own houses to trudge down to the nearest coffee shop to drink overpriced latte’s and listen to people at the next table talk about Dundee Cake (literally what the old dears next to me are talking about).
They do this because writing can be a lonely experience especially if it is something that you do for a living or just because you think you have something to say. So, the need to have people see you actually ‘write’ is quite a big deal. Because the chances of anyone but your friends and family reading what you have written is slim. Sure you can post links to your writing on Twitter, Facebook and on the side of cows but that is no guarantee people will read it. Your musings, insights, conspiracy theories and Doctor Who spec scripts will only mean something to you. They won’t change anyone’s life. Well, the rare writer will create something that will speak to someone in a profound way, like the way the Twilight books have ushered in the sexual awakening of chubby 15 year old girls.*
So, because I am seen writing in public, I can now say “I am a writer”. A proper one except I make no money off it and I haven’t really written anything of note apart from quarter of a bad novel, a couple of unmade scripts, the odd article for a student newspaper and these blog postings. The sexy barista I mentioned earlier has seen me typing away at least once a week and might assume I’m a writer and I intend to do nothing to change her mind. Actually she probably thinks I’m a total loser because it’s a beautiful day and I’m spending it in a coffee shop that is mostly frequented by the menopausal (they are now talking about incontinence). Also I bumped into her in a pub one night when I was drunk and made a total penis of myself. She doesn’t even make eye contact when she serves me anymore which at least means she can’t see the self loathing in my eyes.
*I don’t actually mean that the Twilight books are profound. Well maybe the bits where Jacob takes off his top.