Yesterday, I read an interesting piece on the National Geographic website about a prehistoric underground cave discovered in Israel. Cool in and of itself, but the cave is also home to eight never-before-seen animal species, including a few crustaceans, some land invetebrates and some bacteria. They evolved without eyes, because who needs eyes when you live in an underground cave? (Darwin smacks us on the head.)
Fact is, those new beasties would’ve been less interesting if they’d mingled with the rest of the world; they probably would’ve become another crab or been chewed up by dinosaurs eons ago. Time and solitude are what enabled them to evolve into their singular sensation selves.
Time + Solitude = Unique Product
Hmm. Might we improve the Unique Factor of our own work by holing up in a writer’s cave?
Take a second to consider your own writing habits:
TIME: Do you give yourself ample time to craft unique characters, concepts and plot points; to evolve your voice and to edit your work? Remember that it took Audrey Niffenegger four years to create the fabulously unboxed Time Traveler’s Wife. (Missed our interview with Niffenegger? Read it here!)
SOLITUDE: How much do you mingle with the outside world–with people, the ‘net, phones, etc…–when you’re trying to develop, solidify and craft unique thoughts and concepts? Are you careful with critique? Too much critique, too soon, can be like a hundred pickaxes having their way with the chunk of marble that is your work-in-progress. End result: dust. And dust isn’t very original, I’m afraid. [Read more…]