M said something the other night about the nature of writing that made me sit back on my heels. Some people are horribly inarticulate in person but they write beautifully, and vice versa. He speaks and writes beautifully. We were talking about why it’s easy to write when you’re unhappy but almost impossible when you’re happy.
“When you’re unhappy,” he said,” it’s like you feel more aware of the world. You’re extra-sensitive to everything that goes on around you. You feel more connected to yourself and you think about how your feelings resonate in your daily reality. When you’re happy, you don’t think about things as much. Life just coasts along.”
“Maybe it’s that when you’re unhappy, you’re trying to answer a question. And writing is all about answering questions large or small. But when you’re happy, you aren’t asking questions as much. The answers aren’t as imperative.”
Or at least that's what I think he said. It sounded much better when it came out of his mouth.