Since I don’t have a whole lot of free time, I’ve started using the thirty-minute metro/bus ride in the mornings and evenings to do some writing. Not real substantial writing, but the scribbling, stream-of-consciousness, just getting the words moving kind. I really hate that kind of writing, and I especially hate doing it in public. The only thing worse than forcing yourself to encapsulate even the most mundane thoughts in writing is having other people see you do it.
I end up writing out things like “Blah, Blah, Blah” (literally) because I can’t think of anything else to say. But all the pros say to keep a notebook like that to keep things moving. I guess it’s like doing scales at the piano or stretches before dancing: gotta keep the old pen limber, and it doesn’t have to be beautiful.That comes later (ideally).
I’ve been carrying around my “metro notes,” as I’ve taken to calling them, for about two weeks now. So far I’ve gotten the occasional curious peek from fellow riders, but since no one can read my handwriting, I feel pretty safe. Yesterday, though, I had my first in-your-face encounter. (It’s a fact of life: do something out of the ordinary on the metro, and it will eventually get commented on.) I got accosted by a guy with loads of acne and hair gel, wearing a suit about a size too big, who wanted to know: “Is that your diary? You write really fast–do you think as fast as you write? Faster? What are you writing? Are you a writer?” His parting words to me, just before I finally managed to lose him in the crowd at Gallery Place, were, “You should write about my life. That book would be very fascinating.”
Thankfully we got separated before I had to find out what “very fascinating” might entail…