One cafe, one pad of paper, a sharpened pencil

Stephen Baker

Ernest Hemingway had a simple formula in his Paris days. He'd go to a cafe in the morning with a pad and a sharpened pencil. Then he'd write. Not to compare myself to Papa, but I'm in a Starbucks now, and I'm also working on a book --though not yet in the writing stage. I don't think I have a pencil, much less a well-sharpened one. But I do have: a laptop computer, a Blackberry I'm testing, a cell phone, and an iPod (to drown out the noise. Not necessary at this moment). With all that, the only writing I've done in the last hour are maybe 10 e-mails to set up appointments and a couple of blog posts. At some point, I keep telling myself, I'm going to have to turn off all the machines and think. But much of the job, at least early on, is to be my own appointment secretary.

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