Tag Archive for: national novel writing month

Writing Dangerously

by Bethany Maines

Writing isn’t known for being a terribly dangerous activity.
Not to say that writer’s in history haven’t faced down terrible physical
dangers – Hemingway nearly died in a couple plane crashes, Hunter S. Thompson
got stomped by Hell’s Angels – but I think it can be argued that most writers
are the stay at home type of people who enjoy sitting still for long periods of
time. Other than occasionally chasing sources down a street and tackling them a
la His Girl Friday (a classic, by the
way, go watch it immediately) the danger most writer’s face is purely internal.
From boredom, alcholism, and writer’s block to children
demanding attention, the biggest danger to writing is usually that writing
won’t get done.  But that’s not to
say that writing doesn’t come with a few physical dangers.  We’ve got carpal tunnel wrists, hunched
backs, tweaked necks, and frozen tootsies. The problem with being the kind of
people who can sit still long enough to write a book is that sitting still is
bad for you.  Humans are meant to
move and as our modern way of life moves ever closer to turning us into cyborgs
we have to remember to get up, walk around the block, and blink those bleary
eyes at the sun.
Which is why my foray into National Novel Writing Month is turning
out to be so painful. I admit it, I’ve been slacking off in the writing
department for the last few months, but I failed to realize that a consequence
would be that when I returned to it, I would be so out of shape for writing.  My neck muscles do not appreciate
looking down at a screen for multiple hours on end. My wrists are wondering
just what the heck all this typeity typeity is about and my eyeballs are more
than a little bit annoyed to be staring at a screen more than they already do
for their day job. I’m fortunate enough to know a masseuse who can usually
squeeze me in on demand, but that means NaNoWriMo is going to be a very
expensive proposition for me.
Well, while I take a stretching break perhaps we should
celebrate those author’s who got out there and put some danger besides
scoliosis in their lives.
Author’s Living Dangerously:
Maggie Baribieri – Our fellow Stiletto Gang member is still
taking cold showers without power post-Hurricane Sandy
Elmore Leonard – worked as Seabee during WWII
Hunter S. Thompson – managed to find a variety of ways to
get himself hurt for Gonzo Journalism
Louis L’Amour – worked as professional boxer
J.R.R. Tolkien – served in WWI
Lillian Hellman – forced to testify before the House
Un-American Committee about her “Communist” ties
Bethany Maines is
the author of Bulletproof Mascara, Compact With the Devil and
Supporting the Girls.
Catch up with her at www.bethanymaines.com or check out the new Carrie Mae youtube video.