The Noise

If you’ve seen David Mamet’s master class, you might have remembered his answer on why does he write. Namely, he says that he has voices in his head and writing is the way to keep them busy; he gives them something to think about.

I’ve found this answer to be very insightful. This is exactly how I feel. Some people are living in my head and if I don’t give them problems to solve, they will keep nagging and bringing me down. So, I give them a lot of “what ifs” to keep them busy.

If I get the right amount of answers in the morning, when I usually write, I feel good for the rest of the day but if I don’t exhaust my well, I can get pretty grumpy, unfocused, disoriented and my concentration and short-term memory aren’t working because I would keep thinking about writing during the rest of the day.

If that cycle repeats for long periods of time, I can get depressed. It feels like a vicious cycle from which is hard to break out. The only successful solution to this problem is not to skip writing.

This can be very annoying to the people around me. From the outside, I would feel like a zombie or a goldfish with nothing much on its mind, while quite the opposite is true – my mind is overwhelmed with all the noise.

Sometimes I call this noise a conference because it feels like multiple people having some kind of business meeting inside a big conference hall. Their voices echo and block every stimulus that is coming from the environment.

The good thing is that I’ve learned how to soften it. I say soften because it never actually disappears. 

So, when asked why do I write, I usually say – because I have no other choice.