I’ve been reading Nicola Griffith‘s enticingly packaged and very enjoyable memoir, And Now We Are Going To Have A Party: Liner Notes on A Writer’s Early Life.
It’s making me think a lot about, among other things, how to optimize your life for writing. Not just in the obvious ways, like, you know, making time to actually write, but in seeking out the sorts of experiences that can be transmuted into compelling prose.
Yes, I know, like Ellen reminded us at Clarion, you don’t need to have murdered someone to play Macbeth. I did not attend the Siegel Institute for Gifted Youth (which doesn’t exist), I do not live in Forest House (which doesn’t exist) nor am I a member of Flytrap Circus (which doesn’t exist). When you read the story I’m writing for Comic Book Tattoo you’ll see that I’m not a part of that world either.
But I do think that especially as we settle into professions and circles of friends and stable relationships, it gets harder to find new things that shake up our brains and engage us with the world differently. And despite my frequent travel (I’m leaving again on Thursday), I’m drawn to the familiar and comfortable. I want to fight those tendencies, or at least be more aware of them, this year.