Some days start like this:
The melodic tunes of Beethoven jar through my dreams and I clutch my pillow trying to lull myself back to sleep but the melody continues until I reach for my phone. Snooze or dismiss?
‘Snooze,’ my body begs, but my brain ignores the plea. Groaning I roll over, swing my feet to the floor and sit up. Too early.
With smudged vision I sway into the kitchen and put the readymade percolator onto the stovetop. Going back into the lounge I plug in my computer then hover in the doorway wondering which will come first, the aroma of coffee or the ping for my password. Lingering in the cool open fridge I add milk to my mug then hear the call of the computer.
When the coffee’s ready I fill my mug and drag my feet over the cold tiles towards the window. The sky is dark as I stare out. Then slowly, as if whispering, curls of orange and indigo appear.
It only takes three sips of the Ethiopian brew before my brain ignites.
What is it that makes us want to know how the greats wrote? What difference is it going to make to me whether Hemingway wrote standing up? Yes, I’ve tried it. I paced a hole in the rug and I didn’t write much. I found it too distracting. I need to be in a chair because it’s too easy to wander off when you’re already standing.
Henry Miller wrote in the mornings. He said. ‘If groggy, type notes. If in fine fettle, write.’ I feel groggy most mornings, so I don’t think I’ll be adopting that attitude.
I much prefer the style of Simone de Beauvoir who said: ‘I first have tea and then, at about ten o’clock, I get under way.’
While I can relate to that start time I think for now I’m going to stick to my own schedule for the simple reason that it works for me.