F.R. Jameson sat in the basement of his local Pret in a pensive mood. He was wondering what to write. Not that he was struggling with the book. On the contrary, he was making steady progress on that. Where he was struggling was with his latest writing diary that he delivered every week without fail to his followers. An update of steady progress isn’t the most exciting news to pass on, so what could he write?

After taking a sip of chilled Ginger Beer, he stared idly around The Pret. He was on one of the smaller tables, a table that could squeeze on four at a push, but if it was just one man with a laptop then he’d generally be left alone. It meant he didn’t have to write while drowning out loud, enthusiastic conversation right beside him.

The Pret seemed particularly busy. Lots of couples having lunch, a small party (eight) of pensioners refusing to remove their thick winter coats, builders foregoing bacon sandwiches, and secretaries spending their lunchtimes having urgent highly animated phone conversations. All human life was there, as long as it enjoyed crayfish sandwiches.

But at alternate corners of the basement, Jameson saw two other men with their laptops, typing away. What were they doing? Were they sweating through stuff for their office, or freelancing, or maybe writing a groom’s speech? Or, perhaps – and he knew he was stretching a bit here – they too were writing fiction and even though none of them was aware of it, there was a society of authors being formed silently between them.

While Jameson was writing a gruesome death scene, perhaps one of them was typing away at a sci-fi romance, while the other was fretting over organically slipping clues into his Inca private eye yarn.

The thought made Jameson smile. Now, what was he going to write for this week’s writing diary? He was sure inspiration would come from somewhere.

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