Not writing is easy. Writing is hard. Writing well is insanely difficult. And writing well with a family and a full-time job and all the day-to-day concerns of life seems nigh on impossible.
That’s why I write – if you can call it that – in those stolen moments of solitude: fifteen minutes standing nearly catatonic in the shower, tasting different word combinations on my tongue; ten minutes walking to the bus stop, drawing lines between characters and events; twenty minutes rocking a discontented baby in the middle of the night. An hour-long lunch break is a surfeit of time that almost takes my breath away, when it happens.
At the same time, there’s a symbiosis that occurs between the desire to write and those tiny interstices between life’s mundanities. Daily constraints force me to sharpen my focus, hone my intentions, and pare my thoughts down all the way to the core. The result is that each word I entrust to paper is precious: carefully considered and weighed. With all the time in the world, would I take such pains? I think I would not.
So I can “not write.” In fact, just this past week, I did it twice, skipping two writing prompts that both intrigued me and sparked some interesting ideas. The trudge through the fog seemed particularly daunting, and I gave in – sat down in the middle of the road and rested. The trick is to remember why you set out in the first place, as Mr. Gaiman puts it, and to get back up. It would be the easiest thing in the world to continue not writing. Not writing is easy. Writing is hard.