A week of little sleep has had me bog-eyed in front of the computer many mornings, still trying to work my way through the final edit of book three in my Veil Of Time series before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. I am so close - a mere forty pages away - but this morning my computer of many years decided it had had enough and wouldn't save anymore. So, all I can do is let go and hope that Deepak Chopra is right when he proposes that everything in this moment is exactly as it should be. My edit will have to wait. Perhaps when I get back I will even have new clarity.
I haven't ever been able to decide whether being in those sleepy twilight zones makes for better writing or worse. Some celebrated authors of past and present who spend much of their creative life in a drunken stupor obviously think that the muse needs a little help from the bottle. That the genie will not emerge unless there is a bottle. But this seems a little cynical to me. Alcoholic authors, whether or not they possess genius, are still alcoholics.
I suppose the thinking is that a writer does what she must do to side-line the intellect. Being so tired you can barely see straight will do this too. In one such stupor the other morning, I had to move a piece of text from one place in one copy of my MS into another place in a new copy and then remember what the old and new contexts for the passage were so I didn't repeat myself.
It didn't go well.
No, I would rather be alert and awake, even if then I have to manually turn off the mind. You can do that by listening to music or reading poetry, which as Wallace Stevens put it, should almost successfully miss the intellect. Prose is a little further along the creative spectrum towards maths and science, but still the mind needs to be silenced, because like an American in a room of other ethnicities, it will if at all possible make noise.
If only that were his worst fault!
Inner silence is what we writers are after. Perhaps it's what everyone should strive for, and what I hope to attain as I sail a hundred miles out to sea next week to an island where the chatter is outdone by bird cry and the ever present wind.