“What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that may cost and wherever it may lead.”
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I'm going to use this quote to suit my purposes today. It can cover alot of life's facets. How about how it applies to writing?
It's your choice, of course. Lie around watching television, do laundry or dishes, call friends and gab on the phone all afternoon, go shopping for yet another pair of black shoes, all the while feeling that nagging poking in the back of your head and that disappointed voice saying sadly, you should be writing, you should be writing.... Don't you just HATE that know-it-all voice?!?!
OR, you can go over to the computer, or grab a piece of paper and a pen and just write. If you have to say to yourself, "Okay, let's get this over with," then say it and get it over with! If it makes you mad, be mad, if you're frustrated because you have nothing to say, be frustrated. Sit down and write about how you feel and why you shouldn't have to write if you don't want to. But also breathe and allow yourself to be open to the good parts of writing that you love, too. For example, here's what I wrote recently along those lines:
I don't want to write anything! It's summer. I want to lie in the park under a tree reading. I want to go to the movies. I want to sleep. Yes, writing can be thrilling and mysterious, and when it's going well I could do it for hours, but how often does that happen? About twice a year. Usually it's a parasite, constantly sucking at my energy, and then when I finally do go to the computer, nothing comes out the way I had it written in my head. It was perfect there; it was musical, intense, visual, powerful, and original. Once it's out it's flat, and boring, and contrived. I don't know why I do it. I don't know why I bother. I wish I could let it go and never write again. But then I would feel even worse, I know. I wouldn't be myself. Here's where I admit for the 600th time that it's just who I am - a writer - and there's no getting around it. I can accept it and honor it, or I can make it extra hard and never get out any of the things I want to say. Guess I better write!!
And then I wrote 7 pages of the memoir I'm working on. Sometimes you just have to complain first. Try it. It helps. Yes, writing takes time and effort. Yes, it's a sacrifice, but like the quote above says, no one is forcing you, and you never know where it may lead - good or bad, it's somewhere other than where you were, which is always progress. New direction, new perspective, new ideas, new images, new information - all these come when you move forward. It's worth it.
If you need an extra kick in the butt here it is (and I read this after I wrote the above about how I get irritated because what's in my head seems better than what ends up on the page; guess I better rethink that...):
From the inspirational calendar on my desk:
THE THINGS I CREATE ARE EVEN BETTER THAN I IMAGINE.
Say it with me...