Ever since I became a freelancer, I have always wanted to try my hand at writing. Popular freelance announcers have serialized articles in women’s magazines, discussing lifestyle and fashion, and have succeeded in projecting a fashionable image. I wanted to be the first one to be asked to write for them! As a result of my efforts, the first magazine that asked me to work for them was “FRIDAY. Receiving an offer from a men’s weekly magazine that was full of entertainment gossip and swimsuit photos was something I was grateful for, as I tend to go in a different direction from the image of a freelance announcer for some reason. Although I am by no means good at it, I enjoy writing about it every week.
I started in February of this year, and this is my 26th article in 7 months. Let me be honest. I can no longer meet my original deadline of sending in the next month’s column by the middle of the previous month, and I submit it every week at the very last minute. I have to have my illustrations sent by bike every time. The editorial staff probably thinks, “He’ll never be able to meet the original deadline again. But this serialization has been my dream for many years. I still want to continue it! So I am seriously looking for a good place to write to speed up the process.
When the series started, I often wrote on airplanes. I was in Fukuoka once a week on business, so I had a total of three hours there and back. The plane ride, where no one spoke to me or called me, was a place where I felt very comfortable writing. However, the job ended at the end of March. Since then, I have not been able to find a place where my writing can progress.
I have an image that the great writers all confined themselves to unrealistic spaces to write. A quiet and serene onsen ryokan or a hotel room with a beautiful view of nature. In fact, at the hotel where I stayed this spring, I was told, “Toyoko Yamazaki wrote the opening sentence of “The Splendid Family” by looking at the sunset from this hotel. And this is the desk that was used,” she explained.
I would like to imitate the literary giants in order to improve my writing speed and quality, but I am completely short on both time and money.
However – I write my manuscripts with the note-taking function on my smartphone, and I can write in any place. So I tried it in several spaces that are unrealistic for me.
A chair by the elevator inside Ginza Mitsukoshi & Matsuya Ginza, where I sit during shopping breaks. Starbucks, which I usually never go into because it is expensive. The balcony of my house, which I don’t go out during the day because I don’t want to get sunburned. The bus ride to Roppongi, where I spend most of my time playing games on my phone. Everywhere is supposed to be an unrealistic space for me to write things, but …… always takes me to Go to Heaven in no time.
The surreal space I arrived at.
(Well, then!) I came up with the idea of a “bed” as a reversal of the original idea. I always sleep on the left side and my husband on the right side of our queen bed. Writing a manuscript there would be an instant Go to Heaven. That is why it is so unrealistic!
First I sat down where I usually sleep and started writing. Then the headboard hit my back and it hurt. I had to posture up a bit and …… was halfway through, so I tried to lie down completely. And just a few minutes later, I was Go to Heaven. （Then!) I was in the middle of the bed, but I was still in the middle of it. Just try sitting on the right side where my husband is sleeping! Yeah, the view is a little different than usual, this is surreal! But I followed the same pattern as before. (What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) It’s the last resort! I’m going to make the space completely super-duper unrealistic! ), I sat down on the husband’s side of the room at the foot of the legs and began to write. The lack of a backrest made it impossible to lean back, which was tiring. I couldn’t concentrate because I had to use muscles I don’t usually use when I’m out of position, so I had no choice but to lay my body down and go to heaven.
And at this moment, I would normally be frantically reading a fashion magazine, thinking, “If I read it here, I won’t have to buy it! I’m writing this while I’m getting my footnails done, when I would normally be frantically reading a fashion magazine. I’ve already been to Go to Heaven three times, but every once in a while, I wake up because my legs are being moved as hard as they can. Thanks to you, I’ve made it this far! I’ve finally found my writing place! I’m going to finish writing now! But nails are done once a month. I have at least three serials a month! What are you going to do? What are you going to do, Aika!
Aika Kanda was born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).
From the October 6, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
Text and illustrations by： Aika Kanda