It's bad to be too comfortable, if you're a writer. And I think I mean all kinds of comfortable: financially comfortable, physically comfortable, and comfortable with yourself and your ideas.
Financially comfortable: Inherited money is probably worse than earned money, but both are bad if you can look at bag of groceries you just bought and not think, Hot damn, safe for another week! If you take survival for granted, if there's no possibility of your living in your car next year, you're too comfortable, and your work will show it. It will feel unnecessary.
Physically comfortable: You should never be so comfortable that you can't feel your body. Your chair must be hard, or the room too cold, or there should be a draft. Your desk should be too small. Your work should reflect the truth that you, too, are a physical being forced to exist in a world that has little interest in accommodating you.
Comfortable ideas: If your ideas are comfortable, they're undoubtedly wrong.
Anyway, I started thinking about this after reading a blog post about a young writer who lives with his or her parents. Perhaps things are different in the childhood home of that writer, but as much as I love my parents and enjoy visiting them, I have never been able to write in their house. It's too warm, there's too much food in the fridge, and the carpets are too soft.
Recently I've begun to worry that I'm recreating that kind of comfort in my own house, now. We have numerous rugs on the floors, and a newish couch that doesn't have springs poking out of it. My desk chair came from an office supply store instead of a pile a on street corner, and it feels pretty good to sit in. But what do you expect, I'm a grown-up now and I shouldn't have to pretend to be some kind of desert acetic anymore. Still, I'm pretty sure that too much sitting in a comfy chair will produce those comfy, and wrong, ideas.
Then again, maybe being uncomfortable about being comfortable is enough discomfort. You think?