I’ve been reading a lot about creativity lately, particularly about writing, but about creating more generally. And particularly about doing it. About sticking your bum to the seat, about putting in the time, about letting the housework go. And so on. I’ve got myself good goals and am filled with optimism and the joy of getting it done. I’m more or less sticking to my programme of little bits lots of times, stitch by stitch, step by step, brick by brick and so on.

Now, I’m not sure why, but all this reading has led me to wonder about all the people who don’t become writers. All the brazillions* of people who go to weekend workshops, join groups, find mentors, go on retreats, invest in scrivener, but don’t, in the end, write ‘writer’ on their departure card.

I know some of them become lawyers or travel agents or gardeners or nurses instead. Some of them are lazy or unfocussed or find they’re better at something else. Some of them are handed lives which making writing impossible. And a not-small number must be a bit like me, setting plans and meaning to get onto it, just as soon as I am settled in to Abu Dhabi, once I’m back from Edinburgh, after Christmas, once I finish work and so on and etcetera.

But some of them, one or two at least, must, at some point, have looked around and thought, ‘This isn’t working, is it?’. There must be some who looked at their words on the paper and thought, ‘I know I could do this, but the world won’t miss me if I don’t, I’m going to finish knitting that silk, lace scarf instead.’

There must be someone out there for whom not writing was an active decision. And their’s would be an interesting book.

*still my favourite George W joke