So I sat down and tried option one, but doing it anyway didn’t do it for me. Next!
Option 2: Don’t do it anyway.
If the muses aren’t showing up tonight – I think that’s okay. Some nights it’s all I can do to let the story flutter around in my head until something catches my attention. Once it does, it’s like a switch is flipped back on. I want to write, and now stopping is the hard part.
What if nothing flips that switch, though?
Then I should be spending time trying to notice what’s got me down. Chances are, writing isn’t the only thing that it’s affecting in my life.
Half of being a writer is being an observer, so I feel like we’re naturally pretty good at identifying problems. It’s what we use to torture our imaginary people with, after all. Our Achilles heel is that we can’t seem to see those same problems when they pop up in our own lives.
Think about it – what’s going to make us better writers, faster? Sorting out our drama? Or pressing it into a tight little ball of rage and pain, and stuffing it deep down into our pocket so we can… what? Write about mermaid wizards for a couple more hours? That doesn’t sound healthy at all.
Sometimes I like to come here and write crazy long journals about how I don’t write… because irony is funny.
On other days I find therapy in drafting a nice, long rage letter to my problem-in-chief. I don’t consider that a waste of time at all. Dialogue, reasoning, expressing rage and anger … we do these things as writers. Chances are I won’t have to wait too long for the opportunity to plagiarize myself in a story scene. And because it was born from real rage and pain, it sounds authentic when I drop it in the story.
In software development, we call that dog-fooding. We make it, and then we eat it.