Leaving a promising career at Google filled with free food, free massages, and a solid paycheck in favor for a life as a famous writer was a no-brainer.
I would wake up at 11 am with a beautiful woman by my side, kiss her goodbye, and put a t-shirt on. I would later type remarkable words on a vintage typewriter while nursing a glass of whiskey.
Journalists across the globe would pursue me for notable insights on the creative process, life and of course, women. The philosophical stories I would convey would help them craft their award-winning articles, with a magnetism so strong their bosses would throw them an extra Christmas bonus.
I wouldn’t have a schedule to respect, no duties to obey and no boss to please, only my mind at ease.
While sipping a whiskey sour in a Brooklyn bar with my black notebook, a blonde lady sitting two arms’ length away jumped off her barstool and sauntered over to my filthy pages and me.
“What are you writing?” she asked.
”Short story,” I said in a panic and closed the notebook.
”Are you a writer or what?”
I was silent. My inner self was running around my brain in circles to figure out an answer. I didn’t know — was I?
”Actually, yeah. I am,” I answered
”Wow, that’s amazing. What do you write about?”
”Life, love, misery. The usual suspects.”
”I love people who write. Can I read some?” she said, staring at me.
”Nah, you’ll have to wait until it’s done and get it in a bookstore. I’ll invite you to the release party and sign it.”
”Really? I would love that. I’ll write you my number.”
She glanced at my notebook. She loved the writer story; she wanted to be part of it. Was it the whiskey? Was it the t-shirt? My words? Couldn’t be, I hadn’t written anything and she hadn’t read anything.
I opened the last page of my notebook and turned it towards her before I handed her my silver pen that I had bought on sale at Office Depot the other day.
She wrote her name and number down, ending it with a smiley face.
”Call me someday,” she said, and left.
I called her the same night. We met at a wine bar in West Village. She told me she was from New Jersey and worked in real estate. Business was slow, yet the other day she had sold a 3-bedroom condo to a couple with three kids.
She did commercial modeling on the side, mainly local, such as Dave’s Auto shop in Hoboken. Her dream was to walk the red carpet at the Oscars.
We downed three glasses of wine, went to my studio, had sex and fell asleep. The next morning I made her coffee and walked her out. We never saw each other again.
Had I found a golden hen? A hen that would lay golden eggs as long as it was served whiskey and carried a notebook accompanied by a $4.99 pen. Was it just a coincidence? Luck?
Turned out it wasn’t.
Going from one bar to another with my notebook drinking whiskey would prove to be a formula attracting encouraging and thought-provoking women. I had discovered the concept of a muse, and it was real.
They were all unique. How they talked, walked and sobbed. Each one of them carried a story. Like picking up cookie crumbs, I chose tiny pieces of each one and stored them in my creativity tank. The ones that were not yet eaten by the world, the ones hiding deep inside their hearts.
Those were the interesting ones, untouched and unusual, terrifying yet attractive.
One by one they would help me complete the page puzzle I was trying to assemble into a novel with the use of words on a page.
I loved it. The life as a writer turned out just as I had imagined. Muses, notebooks, and drinks. Admiration and freedom. Only the calls from journalists were missing, but they’ll come to reason later on, I thought.
I started to write, assembling words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into the pages. Putting the crumbs together, merging stories and characters.
The truth was the building block. Real people, real stories, real pain.
I knew a lot of truths, yet it didn’t feel enough. I wanted more; I need more, I said, to finish the puzzle. To make it picture perfect. To put the chaos of crumbs together into one tasty cake everyone wants a mouthful of.
It didn’t happen, the pages remained in anarchy.
Drink, sleep, and procrastinate. A muse, another one, one more. Writer and thinker I said, dreamer and drinker, I was. I lived the imaginary life of a writer so much that I forgot to actually write. The ideas never survived the hangovers.
After months of drinking and searching for the perfect muse, I recognized it wasn’t the textbook recipe for a New York Times bestseller.
Something was missing. The pressure was there, more than 500 copies had been sold six months prior to publication date, a book had to be delivered. I was held responsible for it to happen.
The publisher talked about deadlines, I thought about headlines. It was easy to lean back on the steroid fueled visions.
The anxiety was constantly haunting me; how would I find the missing piece and fulfill my promise to readers, muses and most importantly myself. Did I live in a dream? Was I escaping reality?
The fear of exposing myself was persistently knocking on the door to my wellbeing. The public would get the key to my mind, and it was too late to change the lock.
It was all there, except the novel.
I could always blame it on the notorious writer’s block and find a new women, new inspiration. It didn’t work. The chapters crumbled. The journalists didn’t call.
During my regular Thursday 3 p.m. whiskey at The Standard Hotel, I was talking to a woman from Paris. She visited New York for an art exhibition.
“Wake up and write. You can’t fix a blank page,” she said.
“But I am,” I defended myself.
“Ah non, no, no. Don’t hallucinate. Write. Just write,” she commanded. “La discipline,“ she said and left me alone with my drink.
Discipline was the missing piece. As simple as that.
The experiences had fueled the creativity tank, but the lack of discipline left a leaking hole. Muses and whiskey weren’t enough, they wouldn’t make me a brilliant writer, and they wouldn’t make anyone a brilliant writer.
Discipline is the key ingredient that glues the puzzle together. It drags the heavy package referred to as life.
Alone, creativity and discipline are solid, but when they marry, magic happens. Magic referred to as brilliance.
My perfect muse only needed to say one simple word to create magic: Write.