‘The Writing Imperative and How to Survive It’.

The Single Gentleman in London.

Upon rising in the a.m., after a cup of tea or after a particularly heavy evening’s frolics, a ‘Bloody Mary’ heart starter, a long soak in a bath should be undertaken. This clears the soul, invigorates the mind and sets one up for breakfast consisting of a bowl of cereal then an amalgam of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and sausages. This is followed by two rounds of toast and Dundee marmalade and a glass of champagne.  A perusal of the day’s newspapers is undertaken whilst victualing with particular regard to the obituary columns, making note of the death of relatives or old school chums.

The arrival of one’s secretary, at ten o’ clock, denotes it is time for work and one repairs to the study. After the secretary recounts one’s former musings, one should gather thoughts, aloud, for the continuation of the narrative. This is best undertaken while walking backwards and forwards whilst staring at the ceiling and imbibing a single malt at the end of each traverse.

At one o’ clock the morning travails stop for luncheon. A brisk walk to one’s Gentleman’s club is undertaken and after a few pink gins with fellow members beetle into the dining room for a light lunch with one’s publisher, grouse or pheasant washed down with a pleasant grape followed by spotted dick pudding and Napoleon brandy.  At three o’clock one returns home for an hour’s snooze and upon wakening another heart starter is taken and afternoon tea, sometimes with an aged aunt who is in town for the season.

At five o’ clock, after the aunt has departed and the cocktail hour looms, a gentle read of the mornings thoughts, now typed out by the secretary, is undertaken and modified where necessary. At six o’ clock cocktails are served and one dresses in the appropriate paraphernalia for dinner and later beguilement. This involves further wining and dining and probably dancing.

This way of life is conducted from Tuesdays to Thursday only. One departs to the country on Fridays and returns on Mondays. No writing of any sort is effected during these long weekends.

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3 comments on “‘The Writing Imperative and How to Survive It’.

  1. PJ Royal says:

    Thank you for your explanatory narrative here as regards the literary enterprise, it is indeed most inspiring and beautifully transcribed. But one does wonder then, what takes place in the country? I would be most obliged if you might address this in a later post.

  2. syentumi says:

    My Dear Chris,
    Absolutely lovely recount of the Country Gentleman’s perspective! Carry on!

  3. Geoffrey Fox says:

    Malcolm Lowry would have enjoyed such a routine, had he but had a secretary to do his typing and a club and country estate to retire to. Balzac also portrays such a writer, with such good humor as Chris here displays, in Illusions perdues — said writer is supposedly producing a magnum opus on agricultural practices, which will be so definitive and so astounding that his neighbors cannot but applaud his efforts, though no one has yet been able to read a word of the great work. Or ever will. Lowry, however, did complete his great work on delirium tremens and Mexico. And we expect no less from our deal colleague Chapman.

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