by Rich, lover of all things writing
I’ve seen this in person, and not just in the bathroom mirror. I recently talked down an author – name withheld to prevent a tire slashing – who went on a rant about their writing and how they didn’t need to have anyone review it because they knew they wrote good-like. I knew this author had issues coming up with new material, particularly on a deadline. Combined with other pressures, the author could barely open a Word document without retching.
Many of you are in the same boat right now, mentally chastising me for coming up with the idea for this column. To you, and the other authors who are on a trial separation with their writing, here is some advice to consider once your blood pressure recedes.
Take a step back: Like you do in situations where amped-up emotions lead to possible confrontations it’s best to take a step away from your pad, laptop, or Smith-Corona typewriter when you feel anger start to simmer. You can’t make a logical decision when your mind is full of malice and you have an urge to break all of your pens.
Change the environment: Many of us work in environments that lack natural light, fresh air, and adequate sources of caffeine. Hours spent in these locations without human contact can turn the most joyful person into a candidate for the patron saint of crankiness. Before succumbing to the Dark Side, get out as fast as you can, even if it’s a short walk or bike ride to the neighborhood park or coffee ship.
Socialize, darn it: It’s human nature to make personal contact with others, be it a friend or writing colleague. This type of socialization helps lighten moods, clears the cranial cobwebs, fortifies you with wine, and, if there are cameras around, sets up an episode for a reality series titled Angry Writers Gone Good. By the way, making this connection via social media or instant messaging does not count.
Heed this advice and you may have a chance reconciling with your writing. Oh, new batteries for the mouse and cleaning your computer screen help as well.
What advice do you have for authors who hate their writing?