It is a strange feeling to sit not three feet from a writer you admire while she marks up her printed pages with a blue pen. You wonder: is that a new novel? a story? something I will soon someday read? But you cannot look. She is here to write, not to be ogled, just as you are here to write, to be left alone, to focus. You do not want to seem curious; you will not peek. But it is a humbling thing to imagine her scribbles in blue pen, and your own scribbles also in blue pen, and the genius that is surely in her scribbles when yours… not so much. Also, that you both scribble. Also, that she is here just as you are here, and you can think on that a moment, but don’t look!
(Addendum, later in the day: It is also strange to be in close proximity to writers who are taking a break from their pages and who have decided to nap on the couch, not because you like to avoid watching strangers sleep but because when they snore LIKE A GRIZZLY BEAR and make WEIRD CHOKING NOISES and SPIT IN THEIR SLEEP, it is hard to concentrate. Maybe they are dreaming their next page. Maybe, by the sound of it, it’s a nightmare.)