Writing Life I

I don’t know that the discipline to sit in front of the computer and create characters and scenes will always be such a battle, but at times it seems to take real effort on my part, to just sit there.

I could do something better with my time, I think. This is going nowhere anyway. I should take Magic for a walk. I need to clean the bathroom. Read a book.

Somehow, I’ve managed to develop an inner mechanism that puts me in check. Allows me to trick myself into believing that if I only sit in front of the computer for an hour something will get done.

Writing is not the job I envisioned it to be at first. In the beginning it looked so easy. I thought that all I had to do was write whatever occurred to me and a new world would come to be, setting reality on its head, changing minds. The work would speak for itself (of course) and placing whatever (original and very compelling) thoughts I had down on paper/computer would automatically result in publication. It didn’t look like work when I walked through a newsroom or read through writer’s journals.

Twenty years later, I find that writing is still difficult at times. When it flows, I’m in a zone and nothing can stop me, but those zones are sometimes difficult to produce. Most of the time I struggle one word or sentence at a time. I muddle through with those mechanisms that keep me sitting in front of the computer and at the end of some days, I’ve managed to produce something that makes me smile.

I’ve done good.

The writer’s inner voice that keeps him or her in the chair, in front of the computer, off the internet and working on the current story, tells him/her that it’s time to work. “Are you a writer or a wimp?” it asks.

It tells the writer to work it out. Sit in front of this story and work the problem out. Writing is like life: problems crop up and all we can do is muddle through at times. It’s not going to be easy, but we must hope for the best. Keep going.


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