I walked into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon. “Do you want to make cookies?” my mom said.
I was 14. “What?” A roll of cookie dough stretched across a cutting board.
She tried to look casual. “Well, I’ve never made cookies for you. And I thought I’d be a good mom and, you know, make some cookies. They’re just chocolate chip. And they’re not from scratch, but, you know, I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
“You don’t have to make cookies, Mom. I’m okay if you don’t make cookies.”
She nodded. “I know. I know. But moms usually do make cookies and we’ve never done that.”
“Yeah. Okay. I’d like that. Let’s make these cookies then.”
Have you seen the movie Stranger Than Fiction? I like this movie.
In this scene Ana asks Harold the kind of negative question that expects an affirmative answer, “I mean, after a really awful, no-good day didn’t your mom make you cookies?”
“No,” Harold says. “Store bought.”
And the viewer could believe that this is why Harold isn’t living his life. This is where it all went wrong. His mother gave him store bought cookies.
I can’t work, do chores, make art, write, and make cookies. Is my son going to grow up and say, “My mom never made me cookies. She was too busy writing.” I do, at least, read him bedtime stories. And then I sit by his bed and work on my novel while he falls asleep.
So, what are you not doing when you are writing?