Writing at Vagabond, Holloway Road

A Writer’s Journey

Hi all,

Welcome to the first segment of my writing journey. I’m really happy to be able to share these experiences with you, and I hope you stick around to see some of the wonderful places I find and read the novel chatter I throw out to the blogosphere.

After receiving many recommendations and reading plenty of blog posts online, I decided to go to Holloway this weekend. I found Vagabond on Holloway Road. The first thing that I loved about this cafe was its rustic, homey atmosphere. The wooden benches and tables really appealed to me and put me in the right mindset for a good writing session. I sat in the back, where two long benches on either side make you feel like you’re at a garden party. They have rotating art in the cafe too and I got to look at some beautiful floral pieces while I was there.

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To ease myself into the right mood, I started simply with some tea. I drank my first cup of English Breakfast tea (believe me, there were many more) while reading over the previous chapter. And their bags are eco-friendly?! Amazing. I’ve been re-writing and writing in new chapters, trying to move chronologically, so the mood of the writing flows better. It was nice to sit with a cup of tea and really read through my work. I hugged my cup of tea to my chest while my character went through a particularly traumatising event. It was so comforting.

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Up until this point in my editing, a lot of the storylines were taking different turns, and previously important scenarios were proving less necessary. It’s interesting how your opinion of your work changes over time. My characters have different personalities to when I first thought them up. There’s more sass, more awfulness, more healing. I know a lot of my new eye for detail is owed to my time at university, pruning my writing skills, and it’s nice to know 27,000 (minimum) wasn’t wasted. After reading through the chapter and writing out a quick plan about what I was going to change about the next, having decided some things definitely needed heavy editing, I was starting to get hungry.

Time for soup!

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Wintry soup, the perfect writing snack. Butternut squash soup and toasted bread and a cup of tea. I couldn’t recommend it enough. And as it got colder later in the afternoon, it really helped warm my heart. The heat of the soup and tea kept me just snuggly enough to push on into the latter part of my chapter, but not too snuggly that I felt like falling asleep. It was so delicious and it only put me in a better mood. And for a chapter where you’re introducing a love interest and all the exciting questions are being answered, you need to be in a pretty good mood.

Something equally amazing as the soup was the fact that it was only moderately busy at one point when a family came in with a few children and then disappeared again after an hour (on a Saturday!). Other than that, I had plenty of space and quiet to fall into my fantasy. Every time I took my headphones out, there would be some Christmas song playing, as I’m sure you can imagine with their Christmas tree up and twinkling! It was a really wonderful atmosphere, whether you’re writing or not. But there were a few people with laptops dipping in and out, and one guy scribbling musical notes and bobbing to his headphones. A perfect place for all creatives, clearly.

Do get yourself down there if you get a chance. And look at the selection of cakes… Mouth-watering.

 

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