The Paradox of Writing

Let’s face it. A writer’s life is rarely an adventure. Hunched alone in front of a glowing square is neither dangerous nor adrenaline-inducing. From an external perspective, it might seem like one of the most mundane situations life can provide. This explains the prevalence of #amwriting photos on Instagram featuring coffee and cats – something many of us can relate to. No one knows how to make the process of writing look exciting on camera, especially not writers.

It’s a paradox, because the actual content of writing may be very exciting. The minds of writers roam far beyond the computer’s reach, a realm untouched by cameras. It doesn’t mean that every writer explores the end of the universe or the thresholds of human psychology. It merely means that writing is in itself an explorative task, a task of trial and error, of adventuring into the realms of words.

Writers caught between this exploratory task at the computer and the physical standstill – their ass on the chair – are swallowed by the office-space-time continuum, a state where only small pixels move in front of them while the world around disappears until one day Earth becomes terribly real in the shape of eyestrain, headaches, and a sore wrist. Sometimes, a living being disconnects the writer with their annoying presence. Even more likely, writers are detached via a notification from a portable concentration-eradicator, also known as the smartphone.

At times, this continuum fractures due to exotic occurrences like boredom, fatigue, or appetite. The writer might suddenly stand up like a zombie, go for a walk, indulge in some whisky, or find himself wishing he were writing in a more exciting location – only to later order a kayak online that we all know will never touch the water.

I once took a walk for almost 10 minutes. There were living things out there, staring at me. Some kind of non-artificial light piercing my eyes. Some weird atmosphere where the air seemed to move and cool me down. Miniature creatures with feathered wings seemed to taunt me through their high-pitched whistling.

Needless to say, I quickly went back inside.

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