What makes you a writer?

I smell Nutella muffins from the coffee shop on the other side of the lobby.  I come here to the Y once a week, dropping my kids in the childcare then setting up my laptop at the tall tables in the lobby to write.  I’ve committed to using these two hours each week to make this writing dream closer to a reality. But those muffins smell amazing. I should go get one.

NO!  You have 2 uninterrupted hours of time to write!  You must write.  You should Google “blog writing prompts.”  Words on the page.  Get something down.

But Nutella muffins…

Writing! Nutella!  Writing!  Nutella!  And whose bright idea was it to cook amazing smelling Nutella muffins in the LOBBY of the GYM?!

Sometimes the words don’t come easily.  They simply aren’t there.  I read endless books and blog posts about how to be a writer.  I want this so much, to be able to pour my thoughts into the world, to pull together nouns and verbs and adjectives in that perfect pattern that gives a window into my world.  I want my little world to mean something to the larger world. And sometimes, I get nowhere.  They say to write about what’s around you.  If only there was a way to describe the incredible smell of this lobby.

I can resist the temptation no longer.  Damn.  They are actually cooking in the oven at this moment.  When I ask how much longer until they’re ready, the barista tells me they’ve risen “this much” and still have “this much” left to go.  I don’t usually measure cooking times using the space between my finger and thumb, but I get the idea.

Ideas appear freely at 3 a.m. when I’m fighting the ever-present insomnia.  The words flow then, rolling around in my head then coming together in the perfect sequence just before I finally drift off. I never catch them. Inspiration comes in the shower.  And let’s face it, that’s not exactly a convenient time for putting pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard.

How do writers really do this?