The myth contends that because the artist is blessed with such extraordinary insight, he or she can see into deeper truths where there is only futility, darkness, disillusion and death. It is all part of the tortured artist stereotype. I'm not entirely sold.
I hope the blank pages of this year are filled to the margins with mayhem,with mirth and wonderful, delicious madness. I hope you love hard and kiss someone wonderful, full on the mouth. I hope you reach for the biggest, fattest plums from the tree of wonderful things.
These are five things I wish I every author could carry with them through their writing journey. Though they're all things people know, writing a book is one of those experiences that cause rational people to sometimes lose perspective, if not their sanity.
I'm in Maui this week -- on a family vacation I've long been anticipating for all the things Hawaii conjures up: relaxation, letting go, even inspiration. But for too-busy people, letting go can be a lot like detoxing, and instead of feeling inspired, I've felt unexpected longings.
We hoped this was a temporary protest, but it lasted for the two years she lived there. I called the town manager to see what could be done. "I know it's awful to look at and I'd sure hate to be her neighbor, but this is New Hampshire. Live Free or Die."
Consider creating a few writing rituals. Rituals can help you set the mood. They help you turn your writing brain on and everything else off. Great rituals range from a cup of coffee and an outline to meditation or a quick walk around the block.
I haven't lived alone since 1986, when I had an apartment in York Harbor, Maine, near the beach. I was there for six months until my husband, then boyfriend, whisked me away to his apartment above a garage in Rye, NH on the beach.
A writer's life is enticing. Besides his home in Key West, Hemingway also lived in Idaho, Paris and Cuba. He traveled the world and hung out with other famous writers and artists. He had his very own style of writing and believed less was more.
I think I may be the world's worst meditator. I've tried it off and on since my 20s, and I love the concept: quieting the mental noise, clearing away the chatter for a period of time, inviting stillness. But I am so bad at it.
I have a tale to tell. Although I am not singular, there are not many of us left who went all the way to AIDS and came back whole. I am an AIDS elder. I hold my story and the story of a generation who lived and died in an unprecedented era of plague.
Sometimes we realized we had a ten-page scene that accomplished nothing. Other times a two page scene would be so dense it appeared to be unspeakable by Earthlings. At one point the play exceeded 200 pages.
Romance writers are supportive of each other. They are the Sisterhood of the Traveling Laptops, quick to lend a hand or writing tip to an up-and-coming author. They jump at the chance to encourage their colleagues. They are also fans.
In short, pithy essays, Celia Blue Johnson recounts how the simplest moments -- a trip, an odd job -- inspired some of the most beloved classics of Western literature. I talked with her to hear more about these fascinating accounts.
I think, like with a partner, when you have the right material, there's a magic click, and you fall in love -- whether it takes six books or sixteen years on one book. Maybe that's how long it takes. As long as it takes to feel the click, and have someone else agree.