I have put in my time at the gym this lunch time, hoping to jump start my writing. It is now four o clock, and no writing. Gym, shopping, lunch, shower, correspondence, washing machine. Four hours out of a writing day before you have chance to say ‘aerobic’. And, I admit, I am tired. I feel more like going to sleep than hitting the keyboard.
One cannot separate a brain from a sluggish body, or indeed the body it calls home in whatever state that poor old body might be in. No matter what the frozen brain revivial afficionados believe, our brains are one with their bodies and inextricably connected to the fascinating arena of hormones and other chemicals in the blood and body fluids. They are not independent, self-contained, centres for our ‘identity’, consciousness and higher faculties, but a neural hub that keeps our human organism functioning in concert with an extended neural network. I won’t even use the word ‘alive’ here. Cells can be alive, but they can’t think in the way we would define ‘thinking’. Not by themselves, anyway. Cells do ‘talk’ in their own way. We are one with our bodies. They affect how we think.
Writers find writing exhausting because they put their writerly backs into it. It is a physical process. One becomes part of the fiction being created. If the work is emotionally engaging, then the writer feels it too. It can be hard to disengage. This is why we can be anti-social and demand ‘head space’. We need start up and cool down time. And lots of coffee.