Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Can Not Not Write. Not.

I enjoy reading articles and interviews with writers about the writing process. Inevitably, the writer is asked, "What would you do if you couldn't write?"

The answer that knocks me out of my chair, ROFLMA-style, is, "I can't imagine not writing."

Really? As a full-time writer, I can most definitely imagine not writing. In fact, I spend a good deal of my writing time not writing. I believe it's a Newtonian Law of Physics: the more time available for the written word, the fewer words written.

Why the seeming contradiction? In my case, the explanations are as logical as they are numerous. For example, I have bookshelves. These bookshelves hold many books. These books are of varying height and width. How can one write when yesterday's arrangement is no longer satisfactorily aligned with the creative pathways?

I also have a desk. Pens, notepads, coffee mugs (see pic), more books, aspirin bottles, and a variety of other items must be rearranged, put away, or used to sharpen my stacking-items-of-different-shapes skills before I can focus properly. I also have a dog who pretends to sleep contentedly at my feet when I know she is just dying to go on a four-mile walk. I have a Facebook page that needs face time; a twitter account that needs tweeting. Have I mentioned that I have fast-growing fingernails? Before you know it, it's the cocktail hour. And it is very bad karma indeed for a writer to ignore the cocktail hour.

And, oh yeah, there's the fact (for me, anyway) that the writing process itself tends be a wee bit painful.

So why do I do it? Beats the hell out of me. All I know is, when I'm finished not writing, I just can't help myself.

What about you? Can you not not write? If not, why not? (Extra points if you can figure out that question. I can... not.)