Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Between

My friends who are business people consider me an intellectual.

My intellectual friends consider me a businessman.

My conservative friends think I’m a liberal.

My liberal friends think I’m a conservative.

My Brooklyn friends find my writing commercial.

My Hollywood friends may find my writing literary.

My shy friends think that I’m outgoing.

My outgoing friends think that I’m shy.

I’m none of these things. I’m all of these things.

I read the description of the artistic personality type, abbreviated as ISFP (Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving), and I find myself in half of it. Not so much the other half.

On a Caribbean vacation a few years ago, I was playing in a pickup tennis game when the guy across the net asked, “What do you do? You some kind of writer?”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Shouting Muse

My recent move to a new office prompted a non-writing friend of mine to ask whether the place had a good creative vibe, the implication being that an office with a bad vibe would render me unproductive.

This kind of question gets my gander up, because by implication it trivializes the creative process, feeding into the myth that creativity is something that finds you rather than the other way around.

If you feel compelled to tell stories — as I do — the place where you sit down to do so should be mostly beside the point. I say “mostly” because, of course, some basic requirements do apply. The place needs to be heated in winter, for example, or you may freeze to death. It needs electricity, either for lighting or for your computer, depending upon how you write. It needs to be accessible — not up a tree somewhere three counties away. And it needs to be quiet.

Actually, I withdraw that last one — quiet is a luxury, not a necessity. Writing requires being solitary — not having people bugging you all the time — but it shouldn’t require absolute quiet all around you. The honking horn or the voices rumbling through the wall are obstacles that can be overcome with determination.