On a recent highway trip north, I could not help but notice the new line painting. My first thought: Was the painter drunk? Then: Perhaps they were they having a lesson on line painting that day. If I had obeyed those lines, I may not have survived.
Line painting on a roadway seems to be one of those illustrations of not noticing unless it’s done poorly. We take so many things for granted because they can’t be seen. The next time you’re in a skyscraper, think about thanking a steel worker.
When my writing is bad, I can feel it, but I cannot always pinpoint why. It would be easier if it was as clear as the lines on the road, soaring off in the wrong direction. My best move is to leave it, and return at a later time, when, I pray, it becomes obvious.
When I look for inspiration or assistance from “The Greats,” I usually discover something like this: “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” Somerset Maugham
Or, “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann
Maybe I should apply for a line-painting job.