Sunday, March 07, 2010

Do they make mental ear plugs?

I am and am not excited about the new developments in my writing career. I have a reading coming up a few days. I just signed a book contract! I have the crippling desire to take my laptop and hide under my bed.

The terrible thing about writing is that the better you do, the more you want to do it and the more you have to do. There just become more and more opportunities and more and more fun. I'm getting pretty heavily involved in an online writing group, whose fine work is encouraging me to do my best and put my best words out there. They're lighting the fire under my butt to reach high and work hard. That's good. And fun! And I'm going to conventions and really getting to know other writers and workers in my field, which is good and fun and inspiring. I love it!

But once upon a time, it was just me and my computer and that wonderful feeling of writing a first draft: pure words and the romance of creation. For me, that moment is the ultimate high, the most enjoyable part of my day. Eating donuts or drinking good wine or falling in love are similar but not equivalent sensations. And unfortunately, all the other business can take away from that.

You can't become a great writer just sitting there blissing out. You have to pull away, have to put on your analytical hat. You have to look around and study new techniques; if you lock yourself away, you will become stale and pointless. (Eyes Wide Shut, anyone? Sure it was pretty, but Kubrick's sexy idea felt outdated by a good 20 years.) You have to marry the two worlds, the inner and outer, to make a beautiful life of promising work.

Balancing the two isn't easy. Right now, I'm on the too-worldly side of affairs, wishing I could slip away into a secret world where I could just hammer out word after word. And I can't, because the business-side of my brain is yammering too loudly for me to hear a single syllable.

The only thing to do is read and try to relax and hope that tomorrow will be a better day to type and type and type.


Jak said...

In addition, I don't think anyone could hide under your bed. So I don't think that's a viable option :D


Jak said...

Oh, and in addition, I don't know who sells the mental ear plugs, but every Republican gets a free pair. :D


kristina said...

Hey there - where's the reading and where? Sheesh, I gotta teach you a few things about keeping me informed. How else am I going to scream and yell and make a nuiscance of myself??? :)