Sure, the internet has tons of advice on how to go about being a writer. But last week, the internet had advice I have just now acted on and can retrospectively congratulate myself for. Without meaning to, I have followed The Awl’s suggestion to move out of Brooklyn in order to write the great American novel.
I have left Brooklyn for the Midwest! I have totally done so! My reason for doing so? Not too far a cry from trying to actually write the great American novel!
My aims are slightly less grandiose; I hope to simply write, every day. Could I do this in Brooklyn? Not as easily. Most literary types are familiar with Virginia Woolf’s whole idea of a room of one’s own, and a room of my own, in Brooklyn, was certainly more than I could afford. I’ve only been in the Midwest for a week, but I know I can realistically obtain such luxurious space here. I can fantasize about—and soon make a reality—pimping my new place with such classic writerly touches as cork-lined walls and plot outlines penciled above the bed (cf. Apartment Therapy's excellent post, "Literary Style: 15 Writers' Bedrooms").
Of course, such space is not merely physical but psychological in nature. I find that, for me, the best writing gets done when I am able to achieve a particular mental state, one that scientific studies have shown can be brought on, one might even say enhanced, by the consumption of alcohol. In all truthfulness, I do perform better on Mr. Writing Machine the more oblivious I am to external stimuli. Brooklyn was a gigantic swarm of distraction and anxiety—blissful and dearly missed in some cases, but incalculably hard to retreat from.
For the past week, I’ve maintained an almost constant state of mild distraction from my immediate circumstance. It’s so easy here to loll about, I can’t even describe it without maybe sounding kind of high, or at least drunk. Which I am not...yet. Because New Scientist says only a small amount of alcohol aids in creative problem solving, and therefore I have only consumed a small amount of alcohol in preparation for this blog post. What can I say?
It’s a little too soon to tell whether I’ve made a terrible mistake or I can become a mildly alcoholic, abundantly prolific and happy-in-my-dirt-cheap-luxuriously-spacious-Midwest-apartment writer. But it looks like the internet is telling me yes, such ecstasies as a small efficiency with a single window, a bed and a desk that I can afford, plus Jameson that costs half what it did in the city, might just make all my dreams come true.