Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Critic Speaks Again

Without really being aware of it, I've been indulging the unhappy voices in my head recently. They say things like, "You haven't been writing recently," and "When are you going to write that nifty sci-fi short story you sketched out?" Though it's really no excuse, my mood has been pretty much tanked recently. The voices get louder at those times, making points I don't want to hear. "You think anybody wants to read what you wrote? Get real!" "You'll never be a real writer. You blow off your writing all the time. No sense of commitment."

Writing them down here, I recognise these sentiments as having come from my Critic, who gets her panties in a knot whenever my mood takes a tumble, and at other times as well. Sometimes the things I want to do, or even those I need to do, seem like insurmountable obstacles, mountains of my mind that dwarf even the highest real mountains in the world. I stand at the base, staring up, up, up. No matter how much I squint, I can't see the top. The peak, if it's visible at all from where I am, is veiled by my own personal overcast sky.

And what's at the top? I read in a writing book once that publishing, which one might think is the ultimate goal for a writer, does not mark the end of a writer's struggle. It's not the gold at the end of the rainbow and it doesn't make a writer's life suddenly a life of ease.

So what, then, is the point of struggling here at the keyboard? If publishing isn't the goal, what is? It's probably different for everyone. My goals in writing are to get stories out of my head (even if The Critic says they're crap), share them with people and in doing so entertain, enlighten, or move someone, and, I must admit, get some kind of acknowledgement from whatever audience I may have. Money is nice, but the prospect of affecting someone's life, even if it's only to make them smile for a moment, is really more important to me.

And I've accomplished the first of my writing goals for today, which is to finally get back to this blog again. Hope your creative (and non-creative!) endeavours are going well today.

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