You’ve been around a block or twenty in the writing world. You’ve read enough blog posts or inspirational books or how-to-put-butt-in-chair treatises to wallpaper the Guggenheim, and for the most part your strategies are working. Muse and Self-Doubt Monster might exist in uneasy alliance, but you’re getting work done.
Then something fractures detente.
Maybe Muse and Monster quarrel over the way the toilet paper drapes in the dispenser. (Over the roll is best. Clearly.) Maybe they can’t agree on tonight’s movie. Maybe one accidentally-on-purpose rolls over the line dividing the bed.
I don’t know. Point is, now the Self-Doubt Monster is smiling that yellow-fanged smile. He has a grip on your Muse’s tighty-whities. He’s creating the mother of all literary wedgies and you—dear aggrieved writer—are about to start singing soprano.
Before letting your voice goes up another register, here’s a tool you might try: your Writer’s Emergency Hope Kit, constructed in advance for just such an occasion.
A few quick notes first:
- The idea isn’t to create another means of procrastination by which to avoid writing. Rather, stitch this together over time as you stumble upon hope-inducing material or work on it when you’re stuck. When you can write, by all means write.
- The contents will be personal to you. If it’s healthy and enhances resilience, it’s worthy of inclusion.
- My list of suggestions will be incomplete. Some are multi-purpose hope-building items, as adept at helping you handle an ex’s wedding as moments of writerly doubt. Others will be more specific to your Muse’s vulnerabilities.