Man is head, chest and stomach. Each of these animals operates, more often than not, individually. I eat, I feel, I even, although rarely, think. This jungle crawls and teems, is hungry, roars, gets angry, devours itself, and its cacophonic concert does not even stop when you are asleep.
To us, it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England's policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg was wronged. We cannot grasp what connection such circumstances have the with the actual fact of slaughter and violence: why because the Duke was wronged, thousands of men from the other side of Europe killed and ruined the people of Smolensk and Moscow and were killed by them.
Okay. You are somewhere, at least in theory, between Butte and Mobile, going faster than sound in a long metal container that is not in physical contact with anything. A slight jiggling sensation at your prostate (if you have one) is, essentially, all that is holding you up 30,000 feet above something that looks like a badly distressed suede jacket, but is in fact the surface of the earth. You have been served a brown puddle with a lump in it, a rectangle of pale-yellow congealment, and some kind of mineral-based salad. There is a wheeeeengneeeenngn noise. The jiggle-at-the-prostate feeling gives way to a kind of giving-way sensation. You are swallowed by a cloud. Rule one: Maintain perspective.
One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work - supposing you're trying to find out how a cat works--you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you've got in your hands is a non-working cat. The cat wasn't a sort of clunky mechanism that was susceptible to our available tools of analysis.
I would say, stay the hell away from the party scene. Anything you put in front of your goal, and especially something like that, whether it's too much gambling, too much food, too much cold beers on the weekend - anything that you put in front of the prize is going to end up getting in the way and hurting you in the end.
So okay - there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You've blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.