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Trying to be a young, successful writer in Amsterdam After I graduated from art school, the place were they tried to teach me how to be a successful writer, I ran away. Optimistic as I was, I travelled a bit with the excuse that I had to focus on myself. Being a successful writer is, after all, a very selfish profession. During travelling I locked myself up in a room in Budapest where my midriff felt like a damping rag being squeezed above the sink, several times. After two pages I thought I was writing something that could become more popular than the Bible. After five, I deleted everything and my chin was glued to the table. Back in Amsterdam I was out of money, so I had to find a job and started working as waitress in a bar (where they warm up the soup in the microwave), which is a waste of my time- because I didn’t learn anything besides making a cafe latte with equal creamy layers. I got frustrated and started drinking. My book (27 pages about me) started to get the same value as my toilet paper. Normally when customers asked me what I did in life, I could respond with the words ‘I study’. Now I was suddenly just a waitress and an alcoholic. So I decided to accept the fact that I was a professional waitress, but made the deal with myself to become an awesome waitress who makes an espresso for the grumpy chef with a bottle of Tabasco placed next to it. It helped me to have more joy in life and I started to write again. But of course that didn’t work out because I can’t be a waitress, an alcoholic and a writer. Maybe I was too happy and content with my life as the outsider of the staff of my working place who tries to suck up the energy out of any person or situation to get inspired. But the story dust stayed between the walls of the bar where I made all this new friends of different ages and professions. ‘Who is that girl?’ they asked and ‘Where were you all the time?’ These reactions made me arrogant and I didn’t want to share my stories anymore because you give the impression that you always have a good story- but then you get nothing back. Like money for example, or a warm jacket for the winter or a weekend trip to Norway, anyway. Then I realized that I just had to create the bar at home and start talking to myself catching it on paper. My chair was comfortable, the table empty I had a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of red wine and my phone was set up that an alarm would rang after two hours. I sigh, my fingers were cold, that well known flickering cursor was hypnotizing my brains and red wine flakes were getting cozy on my lips. How do I start? First re-write what I have? Just start talking like in the bar? Or draw a sort of schedule with al the characters in it? But who are my characters? Maybe to remind myself of the sound of there voices I should probably call one, I thought. ‘You idiot, why are you writing on a Friday night? Come to the bar!’ My character said. Yeah, she’s probably right I thought. Because when life is too boring, I don’t feel the adrenaline in my body. So how can I accept from my readers to get excited when I can’t deliver that feeling in an honest way? I have to live, to write! And in my pajamas I went outside.

Trying to be a young  

A text about how hard it is to become a writer in Amsterdam.