“So, being a writer is, like, a total blast, right?” a well-meaning person said to me recently. “You can do whatever you want, whenever and stuff. OMG! I am sooo jealous!!!” (Eloquent, she wasn’t.)
Some days are easier than others; depending on what level the brain is operating.
I am suffering from a well-meaning brain period. I am not writing because I have been preoccupied with other tasks, and my brain (well-meaning as it is) has helpfully offered this advice, “Don’t worry, child! I’m keeping notes up here for you.”
I could make time to write any time, but as I am my own boss, “I ain’t got no stinkin’ deadlines. I can write whenever I want!”
But when I do, I have been trying to find the most ridiculous excuses not to…
At the same time, when I am not writing, I am still thinking about writing. It’s not so much an obsession as it is an ongoing exercise where I keep trying to make a story work, but there is something missing because it feels hollow.
There’s no point in writing down something that doesn’t work – I am editing before I get it down on paper, which is lethal to the process and I prove it by not having much down.
The well-meaning brain still assures me, silently but confidently, “It’s okay, girl! I got your back.”
I need to focus. Sit and write. Read when that doesn’t work. Research when that’s exhausted. Maybe adding a little structure wouldn’t be a bad thing, brain, accept a little discipline to make it all better!
The well-meaning brain, upon realizing that I reasoned what I need is a deadline, suddenly has gone quiet and reminded me of a Sam Kinison routine because suddenly the well-meaning brain had nothing to say! Perhaps it believes that if it stays quiet I will forget and get back to a rousing game of Bejeweled Blitz or something equally intellectually numbing.
I joke about it, but lacking structure can be freeing but also a hindrance. Sometimes structure is what propels you through the rough patches.
March Madness is over and I don’t have to worry about taxes until next year. Back to work, and brain, get out of my way!
If you assumed being a writer was easy, I laugh at you. Internal dialogue is an ongoing thing where you weigh the pros and cons of actions, setting, character motivations, interactions, themes and all sorts of details about story; it also involves the business of writing as well as all the other things that preoccupy the human race – from love to finances, to what’s for dinner and a million other details… You learn to quiet it so you can sleep, but mostly it is like an untamed beast that runs wild and free.
Of course, I am gloriously entertained by my imagination. It creates a well-meaning brain character that delivers pithy dialogue and I think it does so in a fake Southern accent to make me laugh. But even this is just a distraction, another excuse, not to sit and get to work.
Please visit that page for the extraordinarily inspiring work of Archan Nair
Some days you have to be stern with your inner child and say, “Alright, kid, stop trying to impersonate a writer and move over. Back to work, brain!”