Creativity And Concentration

Stephen Fry, the celebrated Twitterer as well as much else, writes (in connection with producing his next book):

Some people can write with ease in whatever circumstances they find themselves. Up a tree, on a bus, in a log cabin, a steamy-windowed café or a tropical beach. Some don’t mind noise, distraction or a broken up day. I, unhappily, am not made of this material. I need peace, absolute peace, an empty diary and zero distraction.

The loneliness of writing, or of my kind of writing at least, is absolute. The other week, the excellent @wishdasher tweeted me a line by Paul Tilich: “Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” Whether my reclusive isolation will be painful or glorious remains to be seen. Accept my apologies for what must be and believe me, no one yearns more keenly for the day when I will be able to be back amongst you all.

This rings with a previous post on handling distractions when writing by Gary Doctorow.

It’s an interesting conundrum in current work habits where on the one hand there is a growing tendency/pressure for everyone to be ‘always on’ and sharing/collaborating and on the other hand the need for deep independent reflection and truly original creativity. It’s obviously tricky to combine the two!

Picture credit here.

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