I sit in my room in this vacation bed and breakfast and try to write a little. Getting nowhere, I realise the bluntness of my attempt and my sentences, which fall flat in the face of the moment. I seem to have developed a curious case of reclusivity, which most writers are famous for, and it is quite difficult for me to write while others breathe around me. This valiant but hapless attempt to write has made me think about the practice overall, of course. My hands seem to have frozen on the keyboard. No words can come out of them until I am in a room by myself.
This would not do. No, it would not do at all. Rarely do writers ever find themselves by themselves. Other people are always around us; if they are not in the same room, they are still on our minds. How would I finish my work, this great volume which says nothing at all then? I must fight this, and if writing an entire page is impossible, I must write as much as I can, finishing it later when life allows, when I find a moment of my own in a room of my own. Yes, that could work in the long scheme of things. It could be the perfect way to have a life and write about it, too. And I would have cracked a problem long plaguing my breed. A whole piece is too big of an ask on abnormal days, and when I say abnormal, I simply use it for its most literal form—something out of the ordinary.
On days like those when an entire piece seems impossible, I can paint outside the lines, craft a sketch, and colour in the details later. This is, after all, what painters do, and this has worked fine for them for longer than any of us can remember. Only a few days are as different from the others in a year anyway. Most of our lives are a basic continuation of similarity. It is, but the differences are peppered in between. And why, pray tell, am I trying this hard to do it all? Well, how can you write when your nephew walks into the room with a smile drawn on his face, his tiny teeth shining through it? You can, and you should get off your chair and lift him up. There are fewer things more important than this, and writing, to my surprise, does not make the cut.