Like Santa Claus
If you believe something, then it’s real to you. It doesn’t make it a fact any more than the kid who thinks jolly old St. Nick dropped off some gifts. Same goes with writer’s block, which is really just procrastination dressed up in your stereotypical writer apparel, sitting behind a keyboard doing nothing. No matter what you imagine, writer’s block is just that… imagined. It’s a label for letting everything get in the way of writing, from very important things that must get done to regular daily chores to that voice in your head saying you’re the worst writer ever, and you’re wasting your time.
I don’t believe in Santa anymore, and I also know that my recent lack of words on paper are not writer’s block. That is a result of me letting the devil in my head (she found it much more cozy than the shoulder) distract, insult, and terrify me into submission. I am the meanest person I know… to myself.
I Can’t Even Get a Post Written
This is one of four drafts in progress on my website. I started one each week, and I started two today. I worked on this one the longest so far, so it wins the crapshoot of posts. It will get finished. It will go beyond the draft and become an actual blog post. I make zero guarantees as to it being good. I wasn’t kidding when I said crapshoot.
So What’s My Problem?
I hold myself to unattainable standards. I hate failing so much, quitting seems the better option to being told I suck. I get in shmoods that I allow to poison everything I do. I see established authors like Anne Rice or Stephen King come out with a new book that steals my ideas, and I figure, what’s the use? The ATF won’t show up at King’s house because he’s researching how to build bombs, but they would show up at mine. Who wants that?
Then there is regular life. I worry too much. I know I worry too much. Telling me not to worry only makes me worry more. Even if I’m telling myself to quit worrying. All the craziness that goes on in my head about writing doesn’t go away in my everyday life. It’s a thousand times worse. I have a very busy devil. The angel is lazy and appears to have gone on sabbatical. I would too in order to get out of my head, but it doesn’t seem to work that way.
No Magic Pill
Whether it’s life or writing, the simple but not easy answer is to do the work. I have a quote from Anne Lamott written on a sticky note where I can see it every day:
Get your work done, one inadequate sentence and paragraph at a time.
I haven’t been paying much attention to that. Until now. So that’s what I’m doing here. And that’s what I’ll be doing on my novel when I’m done here.
If you want to keep up on my daily word count and
harass encourage me (thanks, Marty!), you can follow me on Twitter. If I don’t post a word count, it’s likely I don’t have words to count.
Sorry for the crapshoot.