A post from the bottom of the well.

Two chapters to go, and the loss is hitting me hard. But since I’m thoroughly bored with my whiny self, a post from a more think-y place.

The question for the day: Does creativity thrive in regularity or unpredictability? Is routine or chaos the better writing tool?

I know people—miraculous creatures, they are—who could write in a subway car at rush hour. I have seen my friend Blake stop to make notes in the midst of a dinner conversation (and a stimulating one, at that.) I am well aware that some folks work, undaunted, against the uphill slog of illness, unemployment, uncertainty, or even the bustle of the newsroom; they grab at the ideas that float by, they follow the thread from point to point as if the craziness outside them simply didn’t exist. Yes, such power exists.

There are others, equally dedicated and equally talented, who thrive only in regularity and silence. I am one of these. I cherish the regularity of routine and the sounds in the silence. The deliberate weekday steps from work to gym to writing to tape-recorder-in-bed; the predictably perfect (and perfectly predictable) weekend progression from 3-mile roadwork to shower to coffee to computer-in-lap to…you guessed it, to tape-recorder-in-bed.

That precise and ordered framework is, for me, the place where writing can happen…without preparation or distraction; the amniotic fluid in which my thoughts can float untroubled. I understand the energy of uncertainty; of catch-as-catch-can guerilla creativity. I get what it is about those who can park their butts in a coffeehouse chair and have at it. I appreciate the writer who can sit in the middle of Times Square at mid-day and crank out a masterpiece.

But that writer is not me. I’m the other one. And it’s probably better that you don’t talk to me until I’ve got this idea down….

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