With a strong skinny latte ordered, I find a spare stool, pour a glass of water, and reach for my notebook. How long I don’t recall, but it’s been a while since it was last open.
After a hasty lunch, and before returning to the torrent of email, I flick off the page holder to free my pencil bound behind the cover. Almost filled with scribbles, the book’s pages yawn open. I just need to turn to the next clean page and run a thumb down its seam to begin my rumination. But first I must check. ‘When was my last entry? Twenty one days ago. Yes, it’s been too long.’
As the coffee arrives, all that’s reached the page is today’s date. I spoon some sugar in; just the one. I always wait for it to sink through the foam. These granules take their time. ‘This will be a good coffee.’ A smooth stir, to not lose that topping, is followed by a lick of the spoon, completing my ritual.
Back to that blank page. Still nothing. All I can see is that three-week void. My frustration mounts. ‘Work is getting in the way of my writing. I’ve no time to think, ponder, jot. I’ve got to fix this!’ A deep breath or two later, I decide not to hand in my notice and go freelance. ‘All I need to do is find time each day.’
So, less literary than usual, I begin to chart a day; from when I first hit the snooze button to the moment my head hits the pillow. Blocks of time emerge. ‘There’s hitting snooze five times – that’s recoverable. There’s the tram rides in and home. And what am I doing after dinner each night?’ I begin to make time. It’s there on the page: ‘reading in the morning, writing in the evening – it’s that easy!’ But is it?