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Diary of a Mad Writer
Saturday, 24 January 2004
Sometimes You Feel Like a Writer, Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Yes, I've sold three books. Yes, I have an agent (a good one, too). So why do I feel like I'm chasing an unattainable dream?

Why do I worry that I'll never sell again? Because, on my left shoulder is a little voice whispering, "You're wasting your time. Your sales were a fluke. You should be out with your friends and enjoying yourself. You're a fool sitting at your computer, all alone."

Well, I couldn't take her comments any more. I said, "Roxy, if you don't close that big mouth of yours, I'm gonna staple it shut!"

I call that annoying voice, Roxy, because it helps me identify with who she really is. She's like your so called friends who may think they are well meaning, but don't understand this burning desire to put words down on paper. Or your disapproving parents who think you're silly for pursuing your goal. More often than not, like your friends and family, Roxy is really only trying to help. But, you and I both know she isn't.

Roxy can actually harm my creative flow. She nitpicks at my word choices and my grammar, going so far as to say my work stinks. Maybe she is trying to force me to be better, but she only causes doubt.

So, on the days when I really need to get some serious writting done, I put Roxy in another room and let the words flow. Then I write in one constant stream of emotion. Sometimes I am amazed at what pours forth, sometimes I think I should have stayed in bed.

When my daily count is complete, I let Roxy back into my office. Together we read what is on the screen. She makes up for lost time by tearing everything apart, but when I'm done, it's usually better.

Now, anyone reading this would think the cheese has slipped off my cracker ... unless of course you're a writer. Then you know that Roxy is my internal editor. You also know the importance of training that editor to speak only when it's her turn.

If you're not getting much writing done because your internal critic is hindering everything you start, do whatever it takes to silence him or her. It's important that you allow yourself the freedom to just write and worry about perfecting it later ... once you have something to work with.

Give yourself the freedom to create!



Posted by thewordsmith at 9:56 PM PST
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