Dispelling the romantic writer life myth

Dispelling the romantic writer life myth

what it's really like to write

By Kami Rice, freelance writer

So, it’s Friday night, and I’ve promised myself that I’m holed up in the front (or back, depending on your perspective) corner of the Brentwood Border’s Café (near the only accessible outlet I can find) for only an hour. During said hour, I am required to finish writing a press release that is being a bit teenagery on me, refusing to be whipped into shape by my pleading fingers and brain waves.

But, as you can tell, instead of giving attention to my wayward child, I’m instead giving some love to the more playful spawn in my brood. Actually, I suppose it’s more accurate to say I’m giving it some love as I also let myself be sidetracked by my guilty pleasure: celebrity/personality magazines. (But, then, isn’t the ability to multi-task—and therefore never give complete and focused attention to any person, thing, tree or idea—the most valuable trait of our time?) And just to justify my guilty pleasure: this time it’s sort of about work and sort of about being informed about my community. I’m browsing through Nashville Lifestyles’ summer issue (which was located right next to a nice little magazine called Southern Exposure Magazine, which you should check out because there’s a chance you’ll find some articles there by your favorite FranklinIs columnists).

You see, reading such magazines is another way to get to know the pulse of one’s community, and if you read them in a coffeehouse/café, then you’re catching the community’s pulse doubly clearly. Perhaps I should ask one of the “85 top doctors in 28 specialties”—or perhaps just ask “Single Sensation Dr. Travis Stork”—if it’s really possible to catch a pulse doubly clearly. I have a feeling they would say no.

I partly picked up the issue because I work in a nice little coffeehouse (yes, it’s time I confess that I am a coffeehouse nerd or connoisseur, depending on your language, who spends lots of time on both sides of the coffeehouse counter) located near some of Nashville’s fine medical establishments, and I wanted to see if any of our regular customers made the top doctors cut. So far I’m coming up empty.

There was also a chance that the magazine was going to list all of the eligible, as in single, doctors in the Mid-State area. And, though it’s not my style to be the pursuer, a poor writer might find a good match with an established doctor, or maybe with a new doctor who’s displayed his kissing prowess to the entire world on reality television. Serious journalists leave no stones unturned.

My café spot is actually hosting a nice little vibe tonight. If you’re going to be working on a Friday night, doing it here where a nice number of other folks are also wiling away their Friday night beats slaving away in the steamy garret that holds my office/bedroom/living room in an old (hence, the hot upstairs) farmhouse in north Brentwood. The background music is nice, a country tune at the moment. (I should probably hang my head in shame for living anywhere near Nashville and not being able to tell you which country tune is playing.) Periodically, nice coffee bar clanks and whooshes (that’s the steaming milk I’m talking about) are clambering for attention from behind the counter. Hanging intentionally haphazardly on the pink/red/orange (there must be a word for this color) wall 12 inches from my elbow are a nice collection of mostly photographs of places far and near, from Thailand to Spring Hill. The photographer is Murfreesboro’s Timothy Princehorn, in case you want to look him up.

And just so you know I’m not alone in my guilty pleasure, the guy at the next table over just finished flipping through his own copy of Nashville Lifestyles. Perhaps he was more interested in the “Summer Fun” section or the article on the Farmers Market than in the “Profile: Resident Bachelor” story. He’s now on to a Dummies’ guide for something.

Speaking of Dummies guides, I’ve been so busy trying to write obstinate press releases that I haven’t had time yet to dig into my own first Dummies’ guide purchase: Public Relations Kit for Dummies. And now that this nice little summer evening stroll has brought me back to the beginning of my walk, I suppose I should get back to the disobedient kid that opened this story. Hopefully, after some time alone he’ll have seen the error of his ways.

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