Everything is Writing

Robinne Weiss

Robinne Weiss | March 15, 2024

Everything is Writing


“Aren’t you supposed to be writing?”

I shove the nagging question away. The computer will still be there when I return to it, cursor blinking patiently at the top of a blank page. 

It is Thursday, one of my two weekdays designated for writing. I am cradling a cup of coffee and standing in the middle of my vegetable garden. Early morning sun warms my face, and the smell of tasselling corn transports me to my childhood, running wild in the neighbour’s maize field.

I take a sip of my coffee, and watch the steam curl into the crisp air. The day will be hot later, but right now, goose bumps pepper my arms. I stroll through the garden, taking stock of the ripening tomatoes, the courgettes threatening to become marrows, the weeds poking up like middle fingers through the pumpkins. 

A spider web on the garden gate glistens with dew. A moth struggles feebly in it, ignored by a spider already sated on last night’s insect life. The spider’s offering to the sparrows, who will pluck the moth from the web later in the day, ignoring the juicy spider hidden nearby.

“You could be writing instead.”

The thought flashes through my brain as I tell little Joshua, for the third time, to stop poking his friend with the ruler and get to work. Thirty children chatter and wriggle as they tackle the challenge of building a bridge from a sheet of office paper. Kate and Grace have their heads together. They’ve turned their bodies to block Emily and Leigh from seeing their work. The playground drama from earlier is clearly not yet over between those four friends. On the other side of the room, Oli beams at Sam as the shy younger boy places a weight on their bridge. I don’t know why Oli has taken Sam under his wing, but I’m glad Sam finally has a friend.

Behind me, I hear Jamie tell Emma a fart joke. I hide my smile as I turn around and give them my ‘Are you focusing?’ eyebrows. Emma snorts a laugh and they turn back to their bridge.

“You should write this down, you know.”

I should, but I don’t want to stop. The peak is tantalisingly close. My legs burn and sweat soaks my t-shirt as I clamber over boulders and across scree slopes. I’ve been contemplating why I do stuff like this—climbing mountains, pushing my body to its limits for no good reason.

Movement catches my eye, and I’m thankful for the excuse to pause and scan the ground for the lizard I know is hiding in plain sight, camouflaged by its pebbly grey skin. There. Its breathing has given it away, sides fluttering with each breath. We eye each other, and I wonder if it’s worth reaching for my camera. But I blink, and the lizard is gone. Break over. 

I push my aching muscles upward toward the jagged rocks that beckon against the blue sky.

“Why aren’t you writing?”

I ignore the thought and tuck my legs underneath me. I am curled in my favourite chair with a book. Outside, rain lashes the windows, but I am immersed in a world filled with friendly sea monsters and monstrous friendships. A turn of phrase makes me stop reading and contemplate the vast and complex ideas five words can encompass. A conversation between characters sparkles so brightly I have to squint. A scene is so clear I close my eyes and smell the sea spray, hear the hiss of wind through the rigging of my ship.

When I finally sit down to that blank page, early morning dew soaks the sneakers of children as they set off on an adventure. Skinks rustle in the grass, and the children conjure monsters from the sound. Words fly from my fingertips, every one of them rooted in my own adventures, my day job, the strolls around my garden, the time I spend curled up diving into other authors’ worlds.

For a writer, everything is writing. 

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