I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been posed this situation, or seen it posed in literature and movies and TV shows. “If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you bring?” This week, I’m going to explore the 7 things I’d need with me, but with my own twists.
First, I’m not stranded on a desert island. I don’t like the ocean and I hate hot weather, so I’d probably bring a rope and hang myself in that situation. No, this week we’ll be discussing what I would bring if I were marooned on a distant planet with a breathable atmosphere and a moderate climate but no sentient life. My sci-fi themed summer is clearly getting to me.
Second, none of that “I’d bring a boat” (or a spaceship, in this case) crap. That’s not fair, and that isn’t what the situation was meant to be used for. I’ll be exploring the things that are absolutely essential to my existence. All of my survival needs are taken care of in this hypothetical situation, but not my existence needs.
And now, we begin.
Predictably (post title post title!), the first thing I would bring with me if I were marooned on a distant planet with a breathable atmosphere and a moderate climate but no sentient life is a notebook and pens. This counts as one item because what the heck would I do with a notebook and no pens?
It doesn’t matter whether anyone will read what I’ll be scribbling down (no one reads what I’m scribbling now), because writing is what keeps me sane. Debating is fun, the internet is distracting, but writing is what keeps me whole.
I know I write about writing a lot (I’m not going to even bother hunting down all those posts to link you), but it’s true. Writing is essential to my very sanity. Poetry comes out when I’m either really upset or in a place that I find beautiful. Fiction comes out when I’m in a novel environment. Nonfiction comes out when I’m feeling introspective. And if I didn’t have a place to express all of that stuff, I would lose my mind.
Some would argue that I could just think about all that stuff without writing it down and wasting one of my seven items, but I don’t think they get it. Can you imagine how crazy I’d be if everything I write on my website and in my journal and in my novels were just bouncing around my head without any kind of organization? I know I’m crazy now, but if I couldn’t get my thoughts down on paper (or screen), I’d go over the edge.
Thinking is great, but I’m not content with just that. I need the written word to express and explore what I’m thinking, because as I’ve mentioned, there is an awful lot going on up there. I have characters from my past and future books lobbying to be worked with, lines of random poetry yearning to be completed, and philosophical ideas screaming to be heard and further explored. I can’t deal with all of that in my own head, so writing it down keeps things somewhat orderly.
In the past two weeks, when I was either working on congress stuff or actually at nationals and wasn’t writing, I was an emotional basketcase. I don’t think I ever realized how essential writing was until I went without it for so long. As exhausted as I was, my mind was constantly thinking about what I would blog about when I got home, and what new things I could discuss in my four unfinished novels.
If I were marooned on a distant planet with a breathable atmosphere and a moderate climate but no sentient life, I would first bring a notebook (and pens*).
*Precise V5, preferably.