Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Author's Redemption

Thanks to a good friend's comment to the previous post of the day, I will push on deeper into the heart of blogdom! 

Needless to say, today's blog will be devoted to writer's block.

Writer's block is a monster that strikes the heart (or head) of everyone, no matter what they claim, and no matter what their business.   The block hits painters, surgeons and housewives alike, but writers have given the beast the most press.  And beast it is.  Nothing hurts worse than the pain of words that do not come when you summon them, or that won't allow you to pin them to the page.  Nothing makes you feel more like a failure, empty, shallow, mentally deficient.  It's the ultimate blow to the ego.  In fact, I postulate that it's the ego that fertilizes the seeds of writer's block. 

Ego spawns most of the monsters afflicting writers.  Inconsistent voice--oh, that's a story killer, born from the writer's inability to negate her own presence.  Wishy-washy characters--a deadly phenomenon hatched from the writer's lack of commitment to her creations.  Inappropriate pacing--a vicious story-sucking leech, hatching from the author's failure to face difficult situations.  All of these come from fear, self-consciousness and laziness:  the ego's children.  When the ego takes control of a writer, her words are picked off like virgins at a dragon convention.

To write--to truly write, to capture a message and pin it viciously to the page, giving it no mercy until it has fully surrendered its meaning--a writer must set aside her ego.  Self-consciousness must be annhilated.  Only then will she find the strength to push aside her blocks and errors to create real art.

But how to do that?  How does a writer inculcate a fighting spirit, incredible courage and the moral authority necessary to really make a good piece of literature?  Easy--the same way a soldier does.  Go to boot camp:  keep writing and find somebody to really kick your ass until you are as tough as nails and mean as a snake.

If anybody out there is listening, I'm looking for a drill sergeant of the writing business.  Somebody who will make me do pencil pushups till my fingers bleed.  Drop me a line!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hooray! I'm sooooo glad you are sticking with your blog!! You're a good writer, and it would be a shame to not display your editorial writing as well as your fictional writing (your book) :)

\m/ Rock on Miss W \m/