Yesterday, Therese blogged about kicking herself in the butt and entering Writer’s Boot Camp. She had that vague pit-sinking feeling you get when you’ve been frittering away time instead of working on the wip.
I, on the other hand, have the opposite problem. Creature of habit that I am, I get up most every day at the same time and stare at the screen whether or not I have something to write. Inevitably I’ll slap down some crap I’ll end up deleting anyway in rewrites. I’m also something of a tinkerer, and I’ll tinker and tinker the life out of a passage until I want to vomit, and yet I can’t stop polishing. Sick, I know. [Aside: John Robert Lennon was featured in Sunday’s NYTBR; he’d written a short story about a writer who’d kept editing her novel until she was left with only a haiku. It cut frighteningly close.]
The muse is a fragile thing. Sometimes I think it’s ok to take an extended break away from writing and let it recharge. But we’re trying to chisel our way into a business that’s pretty unforgiving toward creative people who want or need space for their writing. Ask Laura Kinsale. And so the anxiety piles up.