Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dichotomy of Writing

A strange thing just occured to me as I sift through myself and try to figure out why I can write sometimes, and why I can't write other times. The realization, to say the last, is a bit odd, a bit contradictory, while totally expected and not much of a suprise. In order to write, a writer must be mentally uncomfortable, but physically comfortable.

Of course, this certainly isn't the case for all writers, but I'm willing to bet it applies to 90% or more of them. And it certainly applies to myself, as well as every true writer that I personally know. That being said, since I'm not biographically proficient in any of them, I'm going to use myself as an example.

Case in point: 2006 was clearly the worst year of my life, for a variety of reasons. However, closer scrutiny of that particular year reveals that 2006 was merely the worst year of my life mentally (I use merely in a wholly sarcastic manner). Physically, 2006 was probably one of the best years of my life. I lost 40 pounds, I wasn't smoking, I was eating balanced and beneficial meals, I reacquired my long-lost healthy tan, I was exercising six days a week, and all in all was in the best physical shape of my life. In better shape, even, than my nine total years in the Army.

And I managed to finish, polish, and/or draft three complete scripts. On top of that, I managed to start at least three more.

In short, I was mentally upset, while physically happy.

2007, so far, has been a relatively good (though quiet and boring) year. Early in the year, my writing had slowed, but it was still relatively consistent, and I had delved into projects that weren't necessarily my own. For a while this year, I was able to play with other people's uncomfortable mental states.

And then I went back to North Carolina for a while. Result: quit exercising (although this will hopefully change), picked up smoking again (naturally breaking a New Year's Resolution), started eating worse, and began losing my tan. Physically, I'm back in my pre-return-to-the-West-Coast mode, and I haven't been able to write a damned thing in the last two months. The writing bug just wouldn't hit. Why? Well, because I became mentally AND physically uncomfortable.

This physical discomfort came from a variety of sources. One, no doubt, is the overbearing humidity found in the Southeast. Another is my less-than-satisfying living arrangements. There are more, to be sure, and while I can change some of them, a few of them are permanently etched into the ecosystem of the East Coast.

Currently, at this very moment, I have returned to the West Coast in order to attend a wedding, and for no apparent reason, the writing bug hit me. Not only that, the exercise bug did, too. And though I'm still puffing away at those cancer sticks, I feel no true desire to smoke.

Long story short, I'm guessing that I should try to knock out as much writing as I possibly can while I'm back in the Pacific Time Zone, for a I have a strange feeling that upon my return to North Carolina next Monday, I'm not going to feel like much of a writer.

1 comment:

  1. Dude you are sooooo right!

    It's all about comfort.

    Since I've installed that bidet in my bathroom my writing has increased 300%.

    Effin' crazy.

    Posted by Johnny O™ on July 7, 2007 - Saturday - 1:00 PM