Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Demons of Writing

I'm going to use another writing prompt from Jack Heffron's book, The Writer's Idea Book.  In Chapter 2, Heffron describes the "Enemies of Creativity" for writers, and one sounds so familiar that I may nickname my alternative self, "The Judge."
He appears when we feel guilty about spending time writing.  Would our families be better served if we were with them instead of shut behind doors with "Do not disturb" signs warning intruders to stay away?...
How selfish of us to demand this time to indulge pointless fantasies of publication.  How silly to be working through yet another draft of the memoir, dredging through events that took place twenty years ago.  This is the voice of The Judge.... 
My husband and I were just talking about how our parents never took time off, and we learned this work ethic, this sacrificial, never-ceasing approach to work, from the older generation.  This is good, and I am proud of my work ethic.

But when I want to sit in front of my computer for an hour, I can think of ten, perhaps fifty other chores that I should be doing.  In fact, to get a productive hour of writing done, I really need a day to get chores done before I can write for an hour.

This weekend, I had to clean the house, clean the car, wash the rugs, do the laundry, call family, and reconsider the lawn (it's been raining, so this was stricken from the list), before I could even pause to write this blog.

Jack Heffron offers two prompts for these negative thoughts:
PROMPT: Write about your need for a creative life or simply your need to write.  Why do you do it?  What needs are fulfilled through it?  Call your essay "Why I Write."...
PROMPT: Write a character description or a poem about a person based on you, one struggling to create some type of art but who is bound by family obligations.  When you finish, ask yourself how you feel about this person.  Are you sympathetic to his struggle?  Then ask yourself if you extend such sympathy to yourself. 
And, where do we go from here?

1 comment:

  1. "He appears when we feel guilty about spending time writing." YES. Sometimes, I have a way to thwart this fella. I say my writing is my second job. Other times, I tell him that I am 'creating' something - and that's better time spent than not inventing something. Often, I let him get to me, no matter. I might still write, but I don't feel good about it (and I feel I haven't accomplished anything that betters the world).