Does a Beard Make You A Better Writer?
I grew a beard by accident in December. All my life I have been clean-shaven, perhaps because I was an Air Force officer in my formative years. But, in December I went to a stunning yet desolate part of northern Mexico, the village of San Vicente, on a trip sponsored by Mision de Candelilla. A cold front blew in, and it was too cold to bathe, change clothes, or shave. When I got home I had something of a beard (and a better appreciation for electricity and hot water). I let it go, and before long it was respectable beard.
I looked around and discovered that beards are everywhere! I was in the midst of some kind of trend, or even a movement! Not used to being in sync with what is happening in the rest of the world, I rushed to shave it off. I caught myself at the last moment, razor in hand, looking in the mirror. Hemingway had a beard. Edward Abbey had a beard. Maybe, just maybe, that was part of the secret of their success.
It is too early to tell. I’m writing some pretty difficult scenes next. I’ll let you know.