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Scott Lax Blog

Writers Paying Attention

The writing life is sometimes no different from the life of other professions. Writers have health, financial and personal challenges, like (nearly) everyone else.

But writers have a particular responsibility to pay attention to the world; at least to some aspects of it. We can't write in a vacuum. We can't hide away - with a few exceptions - and expect to write about the world. Writers need to compartmentalize their lives in order to write without problems or challenges influencing every word. You write from a part of your brain that you isolate and calm and after you write you can go back to freaking out or drinking or meditating or watching TV. Or whatever floats your boat.

I once wrote an entire magazine column in the waiting room of a not particularly nice hospital waiting area. I was tending to an emergency of someone I was very close to: my mother. It was bad; I was scared; I still had to write. Inside I was a mess, but I had to isolate the writing synapses and move forward.

At the beginning, middle and end of the day, there aren't really excuses not to write, if you are a writer. If you're a hobbyist that writes, excuse away. If you're a writer, you write through happy times, through bad times; through flush times and through broke times. You write when your heart is breaking or when you're worried or even when you are in love with a woman and a little boy who is paying attention to his world.  Read More