Monday, May 21, 2012

Simon Van Booy on Writing Alone

In this clip, writer Simon Van Booy comments on writing alone:

Van Booy mentions his need to be in the presence of some movement outside of himself when writing if only to remind himself that he is not alone. This external movement can help Van Booy remove himself from the bubble of solitary existence that is a writer's life. This ripple of external movement is not simply an antidote for a writer's loneliness; it is a necessary lifting of the fog to breathe the freshness of life outside your own mind. Perhaps this inhalation of the outside isn't fresh or inspiring, (it can be) but in some way it invigorates. It clarifies the muddiness of spending hours, sometimes days in solitude.

This solitary existence, living inside the story, or within a single sentence is in every way necessary--to be sequestered from the movement and colour of life so whatever has gummed itself into a solid thud in your brain can be released by a clean, stimulation free environment--empty of even the gentlest of requests from family, of roommates, of the insistence of phones, of other voices, of other people breathing. The freedom of being alone makes the brain unfold, allows you to simply focus, the necessity of living removed for a few quiet hours. The power of solitary creation is only possible after a period of accumulation, time spent living, observing, being in the world. And in the same way, the hours spent alone begin to lose their effectiveness if a ripple of movement outside the self is not permitted. 

Van Booy mentions a mirror--you write and when you look up, there's another person trying to write, just like you. The mirror is also a reflection of the writer in action--there you are doing what you should be doing, it's you taking your place in the world, living as a part of it. And in the same way, simply getting up and opening the door, staring at the blueness of the sky, the brightness of green against that blue--even this brief interlude, infraction, is enough to let yourself retreat back inside yourself, into the solitary business of getting things on the page.

"Leaves" by AuntNett

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