This is going to be a personal blogpost. You see, I’m cursed and I feel people should know. This could help explain why I’m sometimes behaving strange and why I’m not paying attention to stuff that most people seem to care a lot about, like celebrities, reality tv, food and social norms. I have been this way since childhood. I was called distracted, strange and even arrogant. These days, I am sure the medical industry would have been happy to recommend some drugs to stop me from running out in the woods, where I spent a lot of my childhood pretending to be a Viking, native American and wolf (usually not at the same time).
If you’ve read some of my other blogposts, you may already know that I’m a novelist. I write in Norwegian, by the way, and I have not yet had any of my books published in English – I am currently in the process of finding a literary agent and a publisher. But anyway, most days I write. And by «most days», I mean 7 days a week every week of the year, except when I’m travelling. I started writing for publication at the age of 19, and I very quickly got into the habit of not taking days off. Writing took the role that daydreaming and playing had when I was a boy, and it filled a void. You see, the curse works like this: If I do not write, I feel uneasy and restless. I feel like the society I live in is shallow, boring and stupid. (It probably is, too.) When I write, my life suddenly seems more meaningful. It gets filled with color, feeling, emotion, and I feel like I have a purpose. And that’s how the curse gets me up early in the morning every day, that’s how it gets me to start another day of writing. If I don’t write, I feel horrible.
So when people ask me how I’ve managed to write 16 (soon 17) novels in 20 years, and I answer like I normally do, that «I just like to write», please know that I’m just saying that because «I’m cursed» sounds a bit scary.
As I briefly mentioned above, I do not write when I’m travelling. The curse allows me to take time off when I’m on the move. I do not know exactly why it’s like that, but I know that it only works if I physically move. If I’m stuck at one place for more that one day, I must continue writing. My holiday view is normally my laptop computer screen. If I am staying at a hotel, the nightshift staff gets to know me as that peculiar guy who is up at 4 AM asking for a desk in a room where he will not be disturbed.
Why I get time off when I physically move, I don’t know. If I only stay in one place for less than 12 hours before I move on, I don’t get that creative urge. When I’m out in the woods hiking, it’s obviously difficult to bring a laptop computer, but when I’m out sailing, I always do. Still, when I’m in my boat, I’m can go several days without writing if I want to. That said, writing in my boat is always extremely enjoyable and rewarding – I’ve written an entire novel there.
My theory is that I’m nomadic by nature, and that I was never made for staying in one place for long. That nomadic energy is channeled out through my writing. It is a curse. But given the fact that I love to write, perhaps I should call it a blessing.
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen