Those who have been following my blog a while will be aware that in order to be disciplined about getting some writing in before work, I get up early a couple of mornings a week. This time of year it's still dark, and cold, at 6:30 when I leave the house. As I glance at the darkened windows of the homes I pass on the way to the station, I feel slightly envious that everyone else is still in bed. The train is quite busy, though, so clearly I'm not the only person awake at that time of day.
My destination is Starbucks on Regent Street, and I usually get there just after 7:30am. When it's cold out, my destination is all the more welcoming. It's warm and bright. The staff are friendly, and they know me there now. They know what I usually order. They know I'm working on a book - they sometimes ask how it's going.
I set up at a table downstairs - the same table every time, partly because I'm a creature of habit and partly because there's a power point there I can plug my NetBook into. It's quiet at that time of day, and the place is empty. I take off my coat, boot up the NetBook, and get started on the WIP over my soya latte and ginger muffin. There's free wifi too, so often, while I'm trying to get my brain into gear I'll check emails or take a peek at Facebook.
When I leave the coffee shop to go to work, about an hour later, I have to bundle up once more to face the winter air. But it's daylight by that time, there's a long queue at the counter and the streets are packed with commuters.
As I greet the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment. My working day is just beginning, but I've already got my daily word count in. Those early starts are worth the effort.