12.1.11

The Importance of Solitude

Being a writer is easy. All you have to do is show zero inclination to get a real job, make sarcastic and/or pretentious comments every half hour, and drink a lot. People will believe you. 


The act of writing is another kettle of fish. 


And I do mean kettle of fish. Seriously. Your head is the kettle, and inside that cast-iron skull of yours, all the influences of the schools are swimming around, disturbing your creative waters, and slamming the sides of your kettle-skull. They leave your vision doubled and your balance shaken, those schools. You have to off them, those pernicious literary influences and threatening concepts of style and conceit. 


Fortunately, if shooting fish in a barrel is cheating, killing them is even easier in a kettle. Simply turn on the heat.  The fish? Their eyes will turn to cute little x's, and the school will drift to the top. You'll be left with a roiling boil of inspiration. 


Now all you have to do is find a quiet place to write. Turn your WiFi off. Hide from the people you live with, or, if you are rolling in money, plant yourself in a coffee shop. You can pay for your new, noisy, boisterous office space with cup after cup of coffee and espresso. The bonus to this approach is that you won't sleep for days. And the hours between 1-4 are the best hours for creativity. Your critical defenses are down, your thinking is sloppy and loose, but focused enough to put words on a page. The beauty of these late hours, is that everyone else - unless you're in college - will be asleep. Then the only distracting demons you have to face are your own internet withdrawal symptoms.  Good luck with that.
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