bad advice, part 2

On Writing

BAD ADVICE: “The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply.”

— Will Self

I take serious issue with this perspective.

Okay, so there’s this cultural picture of the writer, holed up in her study, bent over her keyboard blinking away the need for sleep because her muse is on a roll. And yeah, sometimes that happens. But that is not ‘the writing life’, at least not in my (admittedly limited) experience, nor do I think it should be.

That’s something that happens sometimes. Scratch that. Something that happens rarely.

So rarely, in fact, that you crave those days. They’re some of the best writing days. You don’t bath. You forget to eat. You don’t even notice the sun setting…or coming up…because you’re too focused. The words flow from your fingertips like the nine original Greek muses are all right fucking there, feeding you line after golden line.

But most writing days are nothing like that. And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

To quote Auguste Rodin, “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”

A life lived in isolation is a life wasted. We’re here for connection. For relationship. It’s a basic component of how humanity is wired. How ironic and tragic that any artist should attempt to capture the human condition with paint, stone, word, or verse while failing to experience it for himself.

No, thank you. Not me.

I want my fiction to flow out of a full life. The day my art leads a coup, demanding that I sacrifice human connection for its sake, is the day I stop writing.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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