Monday, March 31

Um. . . Let me Deal with These 300 Other Things Before Writing.

This is why I haven't posted any writing for a while. Like many other writers, I have put it off with excuses. Anyone who says they have no trouble writing, that it just pours out is either a liar or should be shot out of professional jealousy.

Even the prolific Stephen King had trouble and became alcoholic. Most writers suffer from the fear their work is just no good. Other artists suffer this too but not to the degree of writers for some reason. We pour out our souls just as much as the actor, singer or slam poet but we tend to be more inhibited. Having acted I know that everything up to the moment you step on stage is an abstraction but once you are before an audience, there is no turning back.

The parallel to writing seems easy but it's closer to doing stand up comedy. The audience expects, no- demands you be funny and they will let you know immediately if you're not. But when you are writing, the only audience is the interior critic. The voice that levels scathing disbelief that you have any talent what so ever. It's just words on paper, what's the big deal? Why do I listen to it when I have no trouble expressing my thoughts out loud in front of people, in fact I revel in the image, but I'm reduced to a whimpering coward at the idea of putting them down in writing?

The interior critic is present at the silent, solitary work of writing and so it has your undivided attention. No glimpsed smile from a friend in a sea of faces to encourage you or the interplay with fellow thespians to distract you from it's attempt to sabotage your efforts oh no, It's just you and your ego. Normally the ego loves to be in charge but this time it always back away from the challenge as if stung. Why?

When I do a painting I'm sure someone will like it even if I'm doing it for my own pleasure. If I'm on stage I'm sure my performance will appeal to someone in the darkness sitting and watching. After all, it's not acting without an audience.

So why do I think my writing is any different? If a therapist knew how to get rid of such a self defeating block they would be filthy rich and people would be a lot happier.

Meanwhile I managed to avoid writing for another half an hour. Whew.

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