Have you ever felt completely paralyzed because what you’ve wanted to produce was just good? Because you know it’s not as good as something that you could write if you just had more time?
When this happens, it doesn’t matter that you know that perfect is the enemy of good.
I know. Because this is my life.
I don’t know if all writers feel this when they sit down and stare at the blank page.
All I know, is that it’s debilitating.
And when it happens – when I sit down beside the computer, or open my notebook, and my fingers won’t type, or my pen won’t release the words on the page, I feel that the world is flat, stale and unprofitable and that the world would be better off without me.
When I get into this destructive frame of mind, The Muse will have nothing to do with me. She looks at me as though I’m a good-for-nothing goldbrick.
And the worst is when I start believing it.
This is when it gets critical.
It’s when I need to be my own paramedic. And I need to work fast.
The remedy: get words on the page. It doesn’t even matter if they make sense. I just have to write and keep writing; typing or scribbling words on the page. Whatever works. As long as it’s noisy. Because it has to be loud. The words in my head have to be louder than the voice telling me I need to find a different profession.
What’s amazing about this exercise, is that I can write total shit for a really long time. But if I keep at it long enough, The Muse will finally decide that I’m worthy of a visit. She’ll come visit me. She’ll pick up on a few words that I wrote and prod me to explore them. And all of a sudden I’ll write something compelling. Something that I know will interest others.
The writer’s journey is not an easy one. Writing is a lonely profession. For the most part you’re doing the work alone. It’s you and your idea, you and your characters, you and the world you create.
But if you’re a writer, you have no choice. And if you’re a writer, you may know what I mean.
Soon, I’ll be making more time for my creative writing. And that thought scares me. Because I won’t have any more excuses not to write. It will be just me and the blank page.
I just hope I can muster the strength to call the paramedic.