Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The trouble with happiness

Is it possible to write in paradise? Like, really write? I'm thinking about this because I just returned to a freezing, grey Toronto from a perfect vacation in warm, sunny Hawaii. A part of me -- the cold part -- really, really wants to go back. But my writing part doesn't. It felt so brain-dead in Maui, so totally uninspired in a literary way, so completely uninterested in writing anything more than my signature on my Mai Tai bills that I'm left wondering... can seriously good writing come from a transplant in paradise?

I believe James Michener did it (in his own way) and Mark Twain, too. But who else? What famous writers have managed to produce great work in a place too beautiful to look away from long enough to type?

I've always thought of myself as the kind of writer who needs the soul-crushing commute, corporate ladder-climbing and multiculturalism-in-confined-spaces atmosphere of city living to kick start my fiction. But maybe I don't really need those things at all. If this is true, that perhaps I could even write better somewhere perfect after all, then I'd be tempted to board the very plane I just stepped off. Because I am a writer, and location location location does not apply.

What about you? Where do you write best? And where do you dream of writing?

In other news, I just came across a link about self-publishing with iUniverse. Check it out here. Maybe I'm out of touch but I had no idea this particular partnership existed. It seems like a good option for struggling Canadian writers who still dream of getting on the shelves at Chapters/Indigo.

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