Do I write best when I’m hungry?
The other day I’d skipped breakfast and was putting off lunch until I’d finished writing whatever it was I was into that day. I was so immersed in the page I refused to leave it, even for the most basic of needs.
This got me thinking about something a friend and colleague recently said about how, when he’s home alone writing, he can go the whole day and forget to eat. He might grab a humble cheese sandwich at an opportune moment, but that’ll be all.
This sort of goes against my favourite writing ritual of fuelling up on a café breakfast, but I guess it’s not uncommon. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway frequently reflects on his meagre rations as an impoverished freelance writer with a young family to keep. Sure he gravitated towards some of Paris’s finest eateries, and his chance meetings with his more successful peers (at the time) such as Scott Fitzgerald ensured he ate (and drank) well from time to time. However, what I get from Hemingway here is a metaphor for willing oneself to write. If we are hungry enough to write, we will.
So, in writing this blogpost, I’m beginning to realise that the more hungry/keen/eager I am to write, the more I will practice my writing; the more writerly I will become. And in becoming more writerly, my chances of producing something worth publishing will surely increase. I think this neatly complements the tips I shared in my last blogpost. So, if you don’t mind, let’s postpone lunch. I’m off to write…