I started writing a book four years ago. At the time I was twenty-four and thinking, "I'd better get on it! Anne Tyler's first book was published when she was twenty-four."
Now I hold my sides while I laugh, thinking of little twenty-four year old me a) comparing myself to Anne Tyler in any size shape form or age, b) imagining myself finishing anything quickly, ever c) imagining that the book I was writing then was anything but rubbish.
Because, of course, that book is long gone, and another has taken its place. This one I really believe in. This one is my precious.
Whoops, did I just say that out loud?
But the equation goes like this: x=Good(n) where x= working on my book and n= the number of days in a row that I do so. Also x=Bad(n) It works in a backwards direction.
So sometimes, Chinua, when I return from driving on the scooter to the ATM which is half an hour away and it's time to run out for drum and dance lessons and I have to get the baby up and walk down the beach with him and one of the kids to meet you there, but first I have to make sandwiches for us to eat for dinner and the kitchen's a bit of a mess and it looks like I will miss dance class again, but you have to go because you are the drummer and suddenly nothing seems fair and I let you know so, loudly, while you drive off...
well. It may be more about the book than about you. Or the kitchen. Or the cut up pieces of papers on the floor. Because sometimes chores are simply a representation of more time spent away from my writing.
And Rae, you may say, Reader, you smart person, you. People who will move to India, and who will live in communities, and who will keep having babies and who will have a meditation center at their house and who will have people over every single day, may not always find the time to write.
You are so, so right. But four years later, still trying, I find that I still want it all.