Jan. 21st, 2015

jennygordon: (Froud - Green Man)
My grumbling last time about the dratted Rampaging Doubts got me thinking about this bizarre condition that is 'being a writer'. It doesn't matter whether you're published or not, famous, mid-list or a nobody, anyone who writes with any degree of seriousness suffers from the same condition.

Sure there are the Writer Highs, when words flow like blackbird song, and ideas flood through us like moonlight. But to counter those precious times there are the endless solitary hours spent setting down one word after another, deleting, repeating, struggling with plot and character, while our friends and family are playing with the dog, or visiting the cinema. We sacrifice parts of our life in order to find those hours. We deny ourselves a social life in order to pace around, plagued by the Rampaging Doubts that what we're producing is little more than rubbish.

And yet, we return to our notebooks and our computers regardless, to set down another word, and another —

Is it a strange sort of courage, or simply sheer bloody-mindedness that keeps us going through draft after draft, parking our egos in order to open up to critique, binning vast tracts of what took us hours to shape in order to shape new, hopefully better words?

Because, much as I'm still feeling disillusioned about MoulderingBook at the moment, come the weekend, you can guarantee I'll be bundling those Doubts out the back door and ignoring them while they pull faces at me through the window. I'll be picking up my pen and settling down in my Nook, battling onward in the hope that my next Writer High is just around the corner.

Why? Why do this to myself? Why not do something more fun with my time instead?

We talk about the 'need' to write that is an essential part of us; the unquiet creative mind that plagues us; the drive to express ourselves through our stories.

But honestly, when you think about what we put up with in order to answer that calling, I'm not sure it's a medal we deserve, or a padded cell!


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January 2016


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