Warm in your Dream

“Ok, it’s decided,” I announced to The Bessie, over brioche and cafe au lait at the patisserie down the road from our hotel. I’d been staring at the Arc de Triomphe and suddenly it was all clear to me.
“What?” she asked.
“My life,” I said, sipping my hot coffee. “I’ve decided what I’m going to do: I’m going to move to Paris and become a poor,struggling writer. I will compose a wondrous, but under-appreciated novel, that will become revered after my premature death and will be a beacon for generations to come.”

Wandering around endless Parisian streets, it seemed the only option for me.
Anything rather than go back to my dreary, crumbling life in Dublin.

How could I return to a large, cold, empty house in a country that seems to be constantly damp when I was standing in the most beautiful city in the world?

My imagination was coming alive.
I was coming alive.
So many colours, endless supplies of cafés and pastries, an abundance of picturesque avenues and life-changing events all seemed to be telling me I needed to do this.
I needed to be that crazy writer who ups and leaves her humdrum life to pursue the craziest and most fragile of her dreams.

The only problem was that I wasn’t that adventurous or crazy.
I wasn’t even a writer.

Back in Dublin a few days later, I sat eating fries in the same diner I’d been visiting for years.
My friend’s mother popped in for a second and told me she’d heard ‘what happened’ and that she was sorry.
She then proceeded to tell me that she’d been reading my blog and that  I should “write a book”.
I made my usual array of nervous jokes in the face of compliments I didn’t know how to take, but through it all her earnestness was really touching.
The urge returned and I found myself calculating how long I could survive in Paris with my measly savings, since I wouldn’t be able to get a job without having the language (which I have little chance of learning).

“You know,” I told my friend, “after the break-up, I tried to comfort myself by saying that being single would help make my blog a little more interesting. I thought I could be the next Carrie Bradshaw, writing about the complications of my newly-acquired relationships with strangers. It’s not really working out that way though. I’m not big on the random, drunk scoring of strangers and you can’t write an honest account of relations with a person you know, because they or their friends will end up reading it. It’s just mean.”

And so I’m back at Square One, although it feels like Square One-Minus-Five.
I’m living the uninspired life, because of a need to get by financially.
I’ll continue to drag myself into my dreary job, which isn’t just content with taking the 9-5 working hours, but leaves me too drained to function during the evenings.
Sure I’d love be daring like Hemingway or Fitzgerald (yes, I did go to see Midnight in Paris the other day) and experience Parisian life, while churning out great novels, but unfortunately, I’m a little lacking in their talent and so there are practicalities to consider.
But is that what makes a good writer?
Is that what it takes to write The Great Novel?
An utter belief in yourself and your ability, the daring to go for it, the willingness to live in poverty and the single-mindedness to never give up?

It does seem that way, but admittedly, a huge fortune could also help.
Maybe I’ll start doing the Lotto…


Filed under Daily Update.

19 responses to “Warm in your Dream

  1. awesome post hermia. your friends mam is right, you should write a book. you have the talent, you ARE a writer. If Paris captured your heart so much, you should work hard, save a bit and just go. You’ll pick up the language quicker than you think. xx

  2. I absolutely love your blog, I find it so interesting and inspiring.
    Follow your dreams! You never know where you’ll end up 🙂 x

  3. You can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t doubt yourself, having all the readers here that you do just proves that you’re fully capable of writing an awesome book. Just remember, “the biggest obstacles in our lives are the barriers our mind creates.”

  4. Eve

    If you wrote a book I would definitely read it, and love it… You have a hilarity in your writing that somehow makes everything more real.
    Where ever you end up, I have a feeling you’ll do great!


  5. You know I would be the first to buy a copy m’dear 🙂

  6. I am in the same place kind of, glad your back girl. I had read your post 3 posts ago and been thinking about it. The best suggestion or help I can offer is life is changed, so distract yourself with new habits. Like maybe swapping that diner for another. Best of Luck*

  7. Hey Hermia, good to see you are back on the blog. I just caught up on the last few posts so sorry to hear about you & the Boy.
    I think you should definitely write a book, as they say you have a way with words x

  8. great post. Definitely write a book! It’d be a shame not to read your meanderings. I missed you when you were gone!!


  9. Ok so Paris is the most beautiful city in the world – and obviously a place of inspiration for you….

    But there are loads of other inspiring cities, some of which you won’t need to pick up a new language! Why not think about writing your novel somewhere else? Could be just the thing you need!

  10. I would buy your book – sometimes the right thing to do is the scariest

  11. Work the day job until Christmas, save up a couple if grand, eat beans and cut out thesocial life to practice your writing skills. Then, when you’re ready, depart. For what it’s worth, I have a similar plan, I just hate Paris’ guts.

    Good luck!

  12. “Regret for the things we have done will be tempered by time. It is regret for the things we did not do that is truly inconsolable.”

  13. Move to Galway. It’s the cheap damp ugly small Paris of the West.

  14. You’re a FANTASTIC writer! I’d certainly read your book 🙂


  15. There are many beautiful cities, but if Paris has stolen your heart, I’ll happily teach you a bit of French? My main qualification being that I’m not very scary and still learning myself so I am in no way snobbish about people who speak less.

    Oooh, logging in via facebook. This is new.

  16. I would without a doubt read your Book(s), sending all my love to you hun xxxxxxxx

  17. ACK – I had the perfect quote for this situation… but I forgot it. The basic jist was – If you have to ask yourself if you’re a writer, then chances are you already are. People who don’t question themselves will never have the impetus to improve or try new things. Only one in a million writers are naturally talented – the rest are a mix of talent and years of hard graft. Hemingways early writings were TERRIBLE! Have faith in yourself and you’ll do really well.

  18. Honestly, and this is just me and I’m not in the same situation as you, but if it’s what you want and you’re unhappy in Dublin then I think leaving wouldn’t be a bad idea. You say that you’re not adventurous or crazy, but here’s your chance, why stay in job that drains you in a city that you’re unhappy in?

    Go to Paris, immerse yourself in the culture, you’ll eventually pick up the language. I mean, you could even do a four week TEFL course here and then go off to Paris and make a living teaching English for a while. Many people have done it before you, and you won’t be the last.

    The only reason I’m still here is because I have no job and no savings, if I had even enough money to get by for a month in another country then I’d take that chance. I don’t know anyone who’s lived abroad who hasn’t enjoyed the experience even if they were breadline.

    Yikes, this is a long comment! Sorry!

  19. absolutely lovely read.. you write with such flow.. and we seem to be in similar situation, i have been wanting to get up and leave forever… financial issues always hinders though.. keep writing.. 🙂

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