It happens to everyone, but it doesn’t make it any better. Finally, all the planets align that special way; the air has just the right mix of oxygen and as you begin to embark on a morning of writing, the shit hits the fan. That’s been my morning so far. And while I’m not a big fan of bitch sessions, I am going to allow myself to have one. It’s therapy. It’s one of the reasons I have this blog.
I think my morning was a culmination of other stresses and frustrations in my life. I can’t point to a particular person or moment, because this is something that has been swelling in me like a tumor for a while. The past couple of days only allowed that mental tumor to burst, and what you are now reading, dear reader, is the seepage from that tumor. In the end, when it is all drained, I can move on from the battle. Yes, I know, only I can fix those things that bother me. And, as I started with killing my Facebook gaming profile, I am going to take back my writing life one aspect of a time.
We’ve already established that writing has to be important to the author if they wish to become an author. Writing is important to me. Is it important to you? Okay, then let’s say it together, “Writing is important to us!” (Repeat it if you’re still not sure.) And while your writing doesn’t have to be important to the people around you, you should be important enough for them to back off and give you the space to write.
And what is giving you that space? A lot of times, it is the physical space you need to write. That means, no kids, no spouses, and the dog is going to have to wait to go for a run. But it also means giving you the mental space to write. That means, unless someone is bleeding or unless the house is burning down around us, save the current events and gossip until after your done writing for the day. What if you write at night? Fine, soak up all the drama you can stand and then mentally shut the door when you begin writing. Your focus should be on writing, not if you’re neighbor’s kid is really his. (Unless you can somehow weave that into your writing.)
I’m a victim of not following my own writing advice. And you know what happens from there? I jam up mentally and just shut down. From then on, it’s the classic domino effect. By the time it’s over, I’m sulking over a honey bun, pissed that I am sulking over a honey bun…even if they are tasty.
Today, it’s time for some good old-fashioned reassessment. If you’re having the same issue, you also might want to try this. I am going to list what I accomplish and what I feel gets in the way of that accomplishment. There’s no correct answer, just create the lists. Afterwards, make a list of ways you can overcome your obstacles. It could be something as simple as turning off the phone when you’re writing. It might be time to have that “talk” with a friend or family member. You know the one. It starts off with, “I have something to tell you,” and ends with, “I’m a writer and as I writer needs.” If you keep that serious look on your face as you continue, I promise they will listen after their initial laughter dies down. The point is that you establish your expectations and be prepared to stick by them to the point of obsession.
And if that doesn’t work, I’ll send a case of honey buns your way.
Photo by Lucy Takakura