‘Why was I making so many cups of tea?’


Lilla Cabot Perry, A Cup of Tea, c. 1900 (detail)

From Lit Hub:

No more grumpy co-workers and phones that rang all day long. No, I thought smugly, from now on it would be just me, my computer and my genius with a commute from bedroom to spare room that took less than thirty seconds. This, I imagined, must be what it felt like to win the lottery.

I remember my first day as a full-time author like it was yesterday. Sitting on my brand-new IKEA office chair, at my brand-new IKEA office desk, with my brand-new Apple G3 desktop. I’d imagined hordes of jealous part-time authors with their noses pressed against my office window desperately wishing they were me. Look at him living the dream, they’d say wistfully. If only we could be so lucky. And at first it did feel like I was indeed living the dream. I’d write, make cups of tea, and then write again, then make more cups of tea, then write a little more and then more cups of…wait, what was happening here? Why was I making so many cups of tea when I didn’t even drink the stuff? It couldn’t possibly be that I was actually missing the ebb and flow of office life, could it? The “good mornings,” the “what did you get up to last nights,” the endless discussions about things we’d watched on telly the night before. No, that was impossible, I’d hated it. Hadn’t I?

I know the internet is flawed; it can be an all-consuming, hateful monster, but its power to connect as we’ve all seen over the past year or so can be a life saver. I know it was for me back then.

So, do I still get lonely sometimes? Yes, but nowhere nearly as much as I used to. Five years ago, after decades of lobbying from my wife, I finally caved and we got a dog, a beautiful seven-year-old rescue greyhound. He’s not exactly brilliant for bouncing ideas off, doesn’t hold particularly strong opinions on the MCU, and as he sleeps pretty much all the time he isn’t exactly the best conversationalist. But he is good company and for that I am grateful.

“The Loneliness of the Full-Time Writer”, Mike Gayle, Lit Hub

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