Letting Life Lead
Over the years I have read a lot of material on writing and being a writer. I’ve read “What to Do Lists” and “What Not to Do Lists” and “Top Tips for Avoiding X” and “Top Tips for Doing Y.”
If you read long enough and hard enough there will be a contradiction to the contradictions. It’s about as clear as the sentence, “A ship shipping ship shipping shipping ships.”
For a moment the brain shouts, “Aha! I got it!”
And then, “Wait…what?”
Too. Much. Input.
I have to accept that I don’t get it. When I get it I forget where I put it. I really don’t know what to do or how to do it or what to avoid and how to avoid it.
I do what I can do.
I try to get what is in my head out. There’s a lot going on in there.
It smarts when I write something that crashes and burns even though I had been feeling all yeahIgotthis instead of thisisdogfartafterbroccolicasserole.
When I put something out there and it’s not received quite like I imagined in my head, it stings.
When the confusion extends to how to fix it, that’s the virtual salt.
But, this time it pained a little less and I didn’t stay up all night gnawing on it and stabbing myself with the doubt. This time I put the doubt on the side table and picked it up in the morning.
There’s a mean judge’s panel living in my brains.
They rate my artistic efforts.
They remind me they told me so when things go sideways.
And when I prove them wrong on occasion they give me that look.
The look that says, “You call that a success? Please.”
Sometimes the nice one shows up and twitters something about believing in myself.
So why don’t I just stop the self-torture?
Before I have a chance to really feel proper dejection, a new story worries in my brain while I fill the dishwasher and avoid the laundry and pick up cat vomit.
I write because I can’t stop thinking.
If I don’t write it down, my mind writes them in thoughts; if I wait too long they are lost (or I go mad).
I write a lot of things that never get seen by anyone but me because I’m frozen by indecision. My internal judge’s panel provides conflicting advice on an individual story’s worthiness.
Maybe I should take this backlog of stories and send them out en masse. That way I can get rejects all at once and maybe, just maybe, one of them will stick. Law of probability!
Oh, yeah, I “hear” voices.
It’s fine. I didn’t name them or anything.
Unless they end up in a story…
I might already be mad.
So much for that.
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