This may sound like quite a bold claim and of course it is. There are many more things that kill creativity, but for me comfort is the biggest one.
Picture the scene: a cosy living room, a log fire glowing and warming your toes, your belly full of roast chicken and apple pie and a quiet evening stretching out in front of you, hours and hours of peace and quiet for you to write.
But wait… something’s wrong. The words don’t flow, the characters turn their backs on me with lips tightly sealed and my plots start to unravel.
Give me an empty stomach, goosebumps on my arms and a drafty room and suddenly I am the queen of creativity. And if I’m thirsty? My God, the words shoot out of my fingers like bullets.
Now I’m not saying I would go to the lengths of Kurt Hamsun (have you read Hunger? If not, turn off your computer and go and read it now!) but there is definitely something about discomfort forcing the best out of you. My mind seems slightly sharper and, whether I’m writing something new or editing, I can work faster and more easily. And it’s not just speed, the quality of my writing is soooo much better.
Why the hell is that? I don’t know, but if it works I don’t tend to question it.
So for the foreseeable future I will save the times when I am nice and cosy for reading.
And if I am hungry, thirsty or cold then you better not stand in the way of me and my computer.