Do you have to lead an exciting life to be a good writer?

Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by myself, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. myself

    myself just me

    Take Hemingway - he's had a life full of adventure, was a journalist, drove an ambulance in WWII. Things of the like. And now take Jack London, who spent most of his time in libraries. And yet, I'd pick Jack London over Hemingway any day - simply because his novels are so full of the before mentioned sense of adventure. Do you really have to experience a lot of things first-hand to be a good writer? What do you think?
  2. dudenamedrob

    dudenamedrob peace lily

    I don't think so. If you have unlimited imagination, and heaps of creativity, no amount of life experience can match the wonders within your own mind!
  3. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    The question you should be asking is "Should I be living my life to its full potential, or should I just write books?"
  4. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    I think the question is, should I drive an ambulance or go down the library ?
  5. I think life should be as exciting as possible but remember this also, no writer worth a damn ever wrote without knowing what it meant to be out of ink.
    If you are broke and cant even afford a pencil, you have to write in whatever body fluids are available
  6. The_Walrus

    The_Walrus Sgt. Pepper

    Not necessarily.
    I mean, sometimes it helps... but you can be a bland ol' average Joe and still be a writer without a problem. You just need to have a good imagination and good resources (for any research necessary).
  7. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    hemmingway and hienline are to the best of my knowledge, the extreme exceptions, with otherwise very nearly the exact opposite being the case. the main thing being some place and a time set aside for doing so, that you can be alone with your thoughts and your writing materials and engauge them on a regular basis.

    like any art, tallent = practice + the kind of intrest that makes practice "quality time" rather then a dreaded chore.

    and practice again requires, well requires what it takes for each individual to be able to do so. of course a DIVERSE, if not neccessarily "exciting" life is useful for material and understanding to draw upon. access to a good university engineering library and at lest skimming the current proffessional tecnical journals is almost essential to writing REAL science fiction.

    and alternative cultural values to those i'm surrounded by, rather then being stuck in the box of them, which all the excitement in the world isn't automagicaly any sort of alternative to, are part and parcil of the only kind of writing, or reading for that matter, other then of tecnological and SOMEtimes political developments, i'm even myself, really all that interested in.

    even if the plotstyle (within the f&sf genre) is action adventure, mystery, or even erotica.


    to quote the person calling himself r.macdonald:

    "I think life should be as exciting as possible but remember this also, no writer worth a damn ever wrote without knowing what it meant to be out of ink.
    If you are broke and cant even afford a pencil, you have to write in whatever body fluids are available"

    now that makes a certain amount of sense. and i HAVE been there, even if i don't particularly count myself all that much of a writer. at least i've not even tried to get published, nor for that mater, generated enough verbage to be worth doing so.

    i still think excitement is mostly crap though. interesting, diverse, wierd, no, these are useful, but excitement? meh, what is that?

    life, if excitement is what you enjoy, well i don't think you have to always live what you don't enjoy, but to have experienced what most people take for granted not being there, yah, i think that helps with a lot of things. something i really do think, that a lot of people don't really understand a lot of things if they haven't experienced. and i don't mean for half a day, but more like for at least half a year. and/or on and off more then once.

    i absolutely do not believe there is any advantage to be gained in perminently pickling your brain. loosining the flow on the other hand, yah, whatever does that without killing yourself or shortining your creative life. i think too many people expect too much of neurotropic substances though. and relying on anything outside of your own nature like that to be creative, well like any unexercised muscle, relying on chemical stimulus to be creative, it seems to me, will inevitably lead to your own inhierent creativity atrophying. eventualy if not immediately.

    and when you ARE without certainty as to what to do next or how to go about it, emparing your judgement, in my experience, whatever that's worth, is the last thing in hell you really need.

  8. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    the best advice for any writer came from Mark Twain, who was asked what experience a writer should have by a 17 year old, Twain said "get yourself a dose of the clap, son"
  9. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    sounds like "fun", although i have my serious doubts all the way arround. other then that twain/clemins MIGHT have said it. or more likely some jelous contemperory reputed him to have done so.

    i'm guessing this would be in the time fraime he was living in the bay area and writing about the goings on up in the mining and lumber camps in my sierra hills.

    a time when san francisco was THE place to go for brothels.

  10. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    I always thought it was twain that said it, but if youre saying he wasnt that kind of guy, then it could have been someonelse
  11. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    It might have been Jeffrey Archer. He's the expert in clap.
  12. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    If you want an exciting life come and marry me, "myself". You look like the kind that needs an exciting man
  13. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    How'd you know she's not a bloke? You can't trust anyone on the internet, Sentient. He could be a truck driver who dresses up as a young blonde woman, and he might mollest you in the back of a gas station, in those toilets where there are lots of flies, and no toilet paper, and George Michaels.
  14. plukow

    plukow Member

    Excitement is such a relative term. A writer's life, in my opinion, for what it's worth, needs to be lived in search of experiences. Anything that will allow them to understand the world and people around them to the fullest extent. And that's a differnt life for every one.
  15. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    excitement is a drug. exploring the unknown is a source of inspiration. so is playing with leggo blocs. and reading itself for that matter. if it's exploratory reading. tecnical background data and or words that stretch the mind and immagination.

  16. Wow - this advice is great !
    I love you writers, giving advice, my advice is to just think what "Big Gay Al" would say in this situation and to accept that
    either that or just keep reading the advice in this thread thats gay enough

    my solution is that if you are still searching for a story, give up writing till you find one, otherwise what you write will end up in a vat full of bleach and paper mulch that will go through loads of machines and will eventually come out as bog paper that will be shoved up someones fat butt
  17. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    Can anyone look up the definition of the word "subtle"?
  18. it means something that you read if you are deaf or something and they put it on the picture on the telly
  19. Justyna

    Justyna Member

    In my opinion, a writer is someone who experiences more than others anyway - even when he or she lives what we would call a 'boring life'. If a writer lives more than writes - there won't be much to read. Those who have an exciting life full of adventures are not really good writers.
    Maybe the best way would be first to live (when you are young and beautiful), and then, when you are old and ugly, you can start writing great books.
    Marcel Proust did that. He needed peace and solitude to really concentrate on his art. He was also helps a lot ;)
  20. White Scorpion

    White Scorpion 4umotographer

    Sorry Justina, but I'm a bit infatuated by that woman's ass in your signature to pay attention to what you wrote.

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