Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One More Trip Around the Block

I’ve been told there’s no such thing as writer’s block and I believe it.
There is, however, writer’s refusal, whereas, the writer refuses to write. We think about writing, we come up with story ideas or even ideas for a story we are already working on. We walk past the keyboard, or the pen and paper, or the writer’s journal and we look at them as we ignore their pleas like calls from an ex girlfriend. We hate them, with their expectations and their need for attention. And we hate ourselves more for failing to live up to our commitment to write in them.
Writing is work. It takes constant energy and thought. It takes much of our precious time; it takes courage, for we are all afraid of writing crap, which we do so often.  
Then like trash diggers we sort through the garbage to find that one little sentence, that treasure that we know is perfect, only to have an editor come along, draw a red line through it with their Freddy Krueger fingers and toss it out.
There are many things in life I avoid like the plague.  One is balancing my checkbook. I never want to see in writing how much money I don’t have.  Cleaning out my fridge is another and the most hated job for me is cleaning the oven. I only do it once a year before Thanksgiving. Yet, just now I considered doing all three of these dreaded chores to put off what I know must be done, working on my story. Seriously, I just got up and looked in the oven… it wasn’t dirty enough.
So, why write? Why call myself a writer?
It is a passion, an addiction, and way to be heard. A power trip, I get to create characters, for God’s sakes! The only thing is, once you’ve created them they do whatever they want, not necessarily what you want them to do. They get themselves into all sorts of messes and expect you to come up with a plan to get them out.  It’s maddening and exciting all at once.
We writers believe in our characters. We want them to be triumphant, to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, but it isn’t easy. We are afraid of failing them and thereby failing ourselves. So we avoid it as long as we can, but the truth is, we love the ride. So, eventually, when the checkbook is balanced, or the fridge and the oven are clean. We give in to the urge and we sit back down at the keyboard and write.