This was written three years ago–but chess is still an important part of my life as a writer.
How does a writer begin each day? Some start writing as soon as they wake. Some write at night. Some start with emails, twitter, facebook– I start my writing day with chess.
As soon as I get to my table, I look at my online chess games and make one move in each of them. During the day, if I am stuck in my writing, I make a few more moves. Most of these are somewhat routine, though they help to focus the mind. Once in a way, I suddenly see a brilliant combination. And that is when the mind makes a leap from its normal level, and becomes different–fresh and sharp.
I have heard the same thing happens to mountaineers, and perhaps to people playing other sports. I think that is the ‘unconditioned mind’, the ‘freedom from the known’, that J Krishnamurti talks about. Applying this to writing, it…
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