post by Lynn
As a writer, I have decisions to make every day. I’m sure you do too. Here’s just a few of mine:
I decide not to sacrifice my relationships for my “art.” For one thing, I’m just not that dramatic. For another thing, I really like my husband, family and friends, and besides – relationships make for great material.
I decide to act as if I will meet and come to know every person who reads my writing. This keeps me honest. It keeps me from saying, “Ah, what the hell, I’ll just say this thing even if I don’t believe it.”
I decide to pretend that what I have to say is very important and must be said – by me and no one else. It’s a game I play and in the playing of it, I give the critical voices in my head nothing to work with. The conversation goes something like this…
Critic in my head: “Oh, that’s crap. There’s no market for that. It’s not fresh – been said a million times by more talented writers than you.”
Me: “Oh, no, sorry. I have it on divine revelation that it is absolutely imperative that I write these words or the world will go ‘poof.’ I simply can’t take that chance.”
Critic in my head to his friends: “She’s completely delusional. What the hell do I do with that?”
Weird, I know, but it shuts the critic up and lets me write.
I decide to be earnest, to forgo sophistication and coolness and be okay with being a beginner. Easier said than done when you’re at a writing conference and the people at your table are fashionably dressed and speak of writing awards and toss literary terms around like so much confetti. I abandon all effort not to look stupid and ask, “What’s the Pushcart Prize?” and “What does ‘adumbration’ mean?”
I’m actually doing these literary sophisticates a favor. When I play the dumb country cousin I make them feel superior and hey – I’m all about helping people. Most importantly though, I learn something I didn’t know and acknowledge my ignorance as a temporary state instead of a character flaw.
My question to you, then, is: What decisions are you making today? I hope they are ones that keep you writing.