On one side of the train, the world in monochrome, on the other, the world in colour. The sky splits like a cotton seed dyed a ferocious pink, its flush slashed by the palest of blue. Below the land is still and frost bound, the nude trees black against the fierce blush. Golden fleeced sheep stand sentinel, their faces placidly awaiting the light.
"I wish I was talented, a talented writer, artist, performer," a woman opposite me confides to her colleagues. "But I'm not, I'm an organiser."
I frequently ask myself whether what I write is good or good enough, am I a good enough writer? But I don't often consider whether I have a talent for it, if my work is better than that of others because of an innate gift. I have read some unengaging or mediocre writing, and I tend to assume the writer is unmotivated or hasn't yet learnt to let themselves go or, conversely, to craft. That they may not have the flair for it, doesn't occur to me.
Does it matter? I do it because I feel compelled to, and because I enjoy it. Here I am on a train and while others read or chat or snooze, I write. If someone told me I was untalented as a writer, I'm not sure this would make a difference. And I'm not sure I would believe them.