It is said that we can survive without food for a fairly long time, depending on our body size. There have been reports of survivals of hunger strikers after 28, 36, 38 and 40 days. Water is another issue. How long can a person survive without it? The consensus seems to be only three to five days lacking the precious liquid. Then there is oxygen. Deprived of oxygen we would be rendered unconscious within minutes. About three minutes later, there will be some permanent brain damage. Death will follow in about 10 minutes. We can see, therefore, the ABSOLUTE need for ALL three of them for our survival.
These statistics caused me to ask myself some very important questions: How passionate am I about my writing? How seriously do I take it? How essential is writing to my being? Do I need to write the way my body needs food, water or oxygen? What kind of writer am I: food, water, oxygen? All good questions we can all ask ourselves.
Here are some definitions I have come up with:
Food writer: one who can go for a week or more without writing. This individual could well be the frustrated one. Writer’s block or any other number of maladies
Water writer: one who puts pen to paper every few days. These individuals are serious about writing, but probably find themselves preoccupied with other things in their lives. And that’s just fine. Other things in life need attention other than writing as well.
Oxygen writer: one who writes every single day. This individual can’t not write (is that grammatically correct?). They need to write every single day or they feel as if they will die because they simply have to say something!
I don’t know where you fit in here, but sometimes I’m Water, sometimes Oxygen, and on rare occasions, Food. If we are talking about working on a current project, I am mostly Water or sometimes Food. Buy if we are talking simply writing, I am Oxygen to Water. You know the times you are stuck and not sure where to take this character, or the plot doesn’t seem to be working the way you planned. Write about something else. That generally seems to work for me. I may not always be working on a current project, but it seems that I am always writing, even if it is for a few minutes a day (I even have an interesting collection of paper napkins). This has been helpful with my current projects, as the answer to my problem is occasionally presented in writing something completely unrelated.
So the question now is: what kind of writer are you?