The labour of notetaking
#4 Ideas on a page
Welcome to the Ideas on a page column, the premium section of Wait! Just Listen, on ways we create and express ideas in long-form. It is a space where I share my personal notes on ideation and writing, that I’ve cobbled together through the past decade and a half as a writer and academic. Think of it as a melting pot of literary ruminations distilled into short actionable essays.
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Every morning without fail, he’d occupy the same corner spot at the alfresco area of our local café, seated facing the main entrance in his usual attire, a khaki brown suit, with a smouldering cigarette trapped between his fingers. With a delicate raise of the arm and a faint smile to a nodding barista, a double espresso is promptly dispatched, always served with two biscottis on the side, one more than what everyone else got. Despite exuding charm and confidence, there was a hint of anguish about his demeanour, a vibe that rather uncannily fitted with the offbeat interior décor of this unassuming local coffee haunt.
Amidst the tobacco infused haze, smell of roasted coffee beans, and the sonorous chaos of life in the city, our protagonist remains unperturbed, furiously writing with his gold trimmed Waterman’s in what appears to be a sturdily bound notebook. It didn’t matter what he was writing. I was intrigued at his persistence in showing up everyday of the week, rain or shine.
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