January 18th, 2012
Last year, I had the chance to interview Michael Connelly, author of Lincoln Lawyer. His novel was adapted for the silver screen in 2011 and stars Mathew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei. I interviewed Mr. Connelly (see The Write Stuff) on his very new Boston Whaler boat, the day he took deliver of it in Sarasota, Florida. Rough gig, I know. My goal was to talk about his new toy, which he says helps him write. “To me, fishing is writing,” Connelly says. “It helps me work things out.”
His statement comes as no surprise to me as I’ve found that I do my best work when I’m not actually writing. Inevitably, I produce entire articles when I’m in the tub, revise while falling asleep at night or drum up a story pitch while driving. And I always seem to figure out the guts of a piece while out for a long run. I guess untethering myself from the laptop gives my mind permission to just wander instead of worrying about whether or not it’s coming up with the ultimate storyline.
When we stop forcing the issue, our work flows a bit more naturally. Connelly has a laid-back approach to writing, taking time for himself on his boat, yet churning out a novel each year. Whatever your pace and pleasure, make sure to give your imagination some flextime. You’ll find yourself hooking up with a surprising level of creativity away from the keyboard.