Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

Is writing athletic?

Yes. You’ll notice that it is hard to write well when you are tired. You need a tremendous amount of energy to create, to go deep into yourself and source your material. You need a tremendous amount of energy for images, for intuitive connections. You need a tremendous amount of energy to concentrate like that.
It’s not just sitting in a chair.
Some people think the passivity of tiredness (or intoxication) might lead to creative stimulus. One of the amazingly wonderful truths about writing is that there are no hard and fast rules. Coleridge, I guess, could work on cocaine. William Burroughs on heroin. Norman Mailer on marijuana. But who knows how much of that is bravado, great storytelling by the authors about the authors? The legendary drinking writers mostly drank between books. But for most of us, we need clarity, receptivity to ideas, not feeling we need a stimulant or an afternoon of sleep. (That said, the woman who wrote SEABISCUIT suffered from a “tired” disease and managed beautifully, if slowly.)

To be a writer, I am pretty sure, it helps to be and stay in good physical shape. Now, one’s neuroses are another thing! We all have them and they often are ….the subject matter, or at least, some of it! In the meantime, Picasso left the cafe at the same time every night, and went to bed early. He knew how much work he had the next day….