Writing doesn't have to be a solitary occupation as long as you leave me the hell alone. I have no trouble concentrating when people are around. They just seem to have trouble letting me.
At work they keep expecting me to, well, work. It's a huge impediment to literary -- or even journalistic -- achievement. On the other hand, my servitude in the bike business has provided most of my actual material, so I shouldn't bitch too much. I intended to be a writer who cycles more than a cyclist who writes, but whatever my day job I always insisted on biking to it, so here I am. Whatever might be teeming in my brain during the day, it has to get through many obstacles just to make it home with me.
At home I fully embrace the concept that I did not marry the cellist just so I could ignore her. In fact, I defy anyone to try. I might come home to hear her running through a Bach sonata with or without the TV on. The house might smell like fresh-baked bread or any number of delectable creations, or she might be poking moodily at her computer in a sit-down strike because she's tired of having to come up with meals all the time. My kitchen wizardry is rudimentary at best. My expertise extends more to cleaning up.
Since her illness makes her a definite limited-time offer, I spend time with her when she's around unless she's working on something of her own. Medical intervention might extend her span, but it will depend a great deal on luck. And, of course, we live in a world that is proven to be 100 percent fatal anyway. If you find someone you like to be with, be with them.
Good writing takes time. I'm not a link-farmer and a news junkie. I'm a thinker. From a single dropped cigarette butt I can extrapolate the entire future of the human race. I would rather sit and watch a dewdrop sparkle than go to a major sporting event. What can I say? I'm a boring nerd. And not even the science-wizard, geeky millionaire kind of nerd. So I usually have to sit a spell to craft good sentences and build them into paragraphs worth posting.
When I get some time to myself I have decades of ideas jammed in a tangle in the closet/playroom that passes for my brain. New ones come from life every day, and every day most of them get stuffed into the pile with the others.
When the cellist goes away I can spend my time as I choose. For instance, tonight I was going to ride straight home from work, take care of necessary domestic chores, shower, stretch, suck down a simple supper and start writing.
The temperature was 43 degrees F, the wind was gusting over 40 miles per hour and turbulent gray clouds released scattered snowflakes into the gale as I prepared to ride home. Then the sky cleared. The wind didn't drop, but the snow ceased and the sun lit the scene with golden light. And then the clouds came back. And left again. All the while the wind swirled around, hitting me from the side, the front, the back, helping, impeding, harassing.
I got home shortly before 7 p.m. I had to scoop the cat boxes, grab some dry firewood, get the wood stove going, shower, stretch, put away clean dishes and figure out that supper. I sat down to eat at about 8:40. So then it's after 9.
The cellist called. She's having a bit of an emotional time because she's playing a gig in the church where her brother's funeral was held about a month and a half ago. When she scheduled the trip months ago he was still alive. They were going to get together. There are other things, too. When someone calls with stuff like that you listen.
And so we close in on midnight.
During the brief times in which I didn't have a job and could turn entirely to creativity I would frequently stay up late because that's when people finally quieted down. With a day job it's still easy to stay up too late and then resort to coffee and will power to get through the next day and the next and the next until stamina runs out, at least when my night noises won't disturb someone else who has to get up early the next day. I find it much harder to pound out the bike commute day after day on short sleep, though.
Maybe I'll have a little better luck tomorrow night.