Saturday Morning in Paris, it was cold. The rain came down in what I like to refer to as “the Paris Spit”. It isn’t really a drizzle, more like the clouds are hanging in a state of confusion, gray and blustery, but just not quite sure if they want to let it all go. It is a common occurrence in Paris from October through March.
Still, I could find nothing but promise in the sky. Christian and I were hustling to make it to a 10:00 writing group. “Shut Up and Write”. I love the title of the group. They meet every Saturday in a café that gives free coffee, but charges rent for the seat. (How is that for enterprising?) It is affectionately titled the “Anti-Café”. Gotta love all the suggestions flying around there.
We had talked all week about going, but of course it was Saturday. We slept until almost 8 and then mulled around lazily, because, like I said, it was cold and rainy. Not the most inviting for a foray outside the apartment when we didn’t have to be somewhere.
About 9, we both looked at each other and said, “well?” Without another word, we shifted into hyperdrive, showered and were in the metro station by 9:30.-
But the day was just beginning…………….first, for reasons neither of us will ever know, we got on going the wrong direction. Yep, no matter how familiar you are with the system, those things I like to refer to as “typos” just happen.
No problem. We jumped off on the first stop and reversed directions, easy, peasy, right? Well, it would have been had I taken the time to google map the café from the beginning. I simply told Christian it was the Louvre café and then left all the hard work to him…….uh oh.
30 minutes later, standing in front of what should have been our destination, and still on time we were looking into a dark, closed, restaurant. OOPs!
Turns out, it wasn’t the Louvre Café, which has changed names to, uh, oh I forget now. This placed me squarely in the hot seat, so I scrambled for the confirmation email on my phone, while the wheel of death spun in slow motion. Christian, that bastion of patience, didn’t belittle me or even complain (much) as we ran helter skelter to the accurate location.
Me, I was enjoying the scenery, but he hates to be late. Trailing a good 10 steps behind, despite my very brisk pace. I was taking photos and trying to be reassuring by reiterating that the email said there were only going to be five other authors there, and after all, it was a writing group, not a lecture. It didn’t seem help him much.
And then, there was the lack of WIFI, the walking past the café on the back side going in the wrong direction for almost a block, and, well, you get the picture.
We did however, finally make it. Walking inside we looked around and then back at each other. It was a tiny, I mean like maybe 28 seat max capacity with everyone touching each other tiny, I could reach my arms halfway across it tiny, café. And guess what? Yep, all the seats were gone. I mean it was SOS, (you can interpret that Standing Only, or Sh*t out of Seating, your call).
After confirming that we were indeed in the right place, and the group was indeed there, we looked around one last time. It was one of those moments when words aren’t necessary. We turned and walked back out into the Paris spit. I pulled the hood of my rain coat over my head.
“We could just have our own writing group” I offered, genuinely undaunted. “Who needs to sit with a bunch of strangers to write anyway?” We strolled past a lovely clothing shop, both for the shelter of its awnings and the fabulous clothes, as we contemplated the next move. Christian suggested returning to another café we had passed earlier, but about that time the rain became real rain. So, we headed toward the Comedie Français café, which happened to be just in front of us.
We found a cozy seat under the outdoor pavilion, complete with heater and a waiter. (we didn’t have to pay rent for our chairs and someone actually came to our table, said “Bonjour” took our order and delivered it to us!)
We then proceeded to write.
And it was wonderful. I looked out over the courtyard, the Louvre to my left, every table around us crowded with locals and tourist alike, and I wrote. The waiter brought us baguettes with jam and a fragrant cup of coffee. Two hours flew by like minutes.
On the way home, we took a more leisurely stroll to Galleries Lafayette, stopped at a Marks and Spencer’s, and, had seats on the metro. Once back, we dropped our briefcases at the house, Christian headed toward the boucherie for duck while I went to the market for potatoes and spinach.
Lunch, a fresh baguette, duck, creamed potatoes, salad and a glass of 6-year-old red wine.
Who could ask for a better Saturday?
It was utterly magnificent, rain, wind and all.
Sometimes not giving up requires a little flexibility and a lot of belief that the goal is worth it. We spent 45 frantic minutes racing to the café to discover there were no seats left. And, more importantly, that it didn’t really matter. There was something, however, about having it on the calendar, preparing, getting dressed and going for it that made doing it a no brainer. In the long run where we were, or who we were with wasn’t the point at all. It was the commitment to doing it that mattered.
So, how about you?
Have you committed to writing your book or is it still on your ‘someday’ list?
(Someday, btw, I was reminded last night is just code for never.)
Maybe you could think about it another way.
What would it feel like to have your novel in hand a year from now?
How do you think your life would change? (I am here to tell you, more than you can imagine…….like running through the streets of Paris kind of changes.)
What are you willing to commit to making that happen?
(hint, it is never as hard as it seems, or as easy as we would like for it to be. But it is oh so worth it!)
If you are ready, finally, to get that book out of your head and onto paper, contact me. Let’s do a quick 10 minute call to talk about your dream of writing.
Until tomorrow, À Bientôt….. Et Bises!!