Yesterday's writing day just wouldn't get started. The Writer kept turning it over until the battery said, "Enough," and left him with a still writing motor.
The Writer was upset but I had to handle it like any sort of breakdown. Why was it broken? How do I fix it and get it started again?
I knew the root causes were a lack of self-confidence now being fed by a short story rejection. Being the deep person I am, I walked away from the writing day, filled pools with misery and self-pity, and soaked myself in them.
I don't know if you're aware of it, but misery and self-pity are highly flammable. All they needed was that spark of despair, and boom. The pools spread into a conflagration of self-loathing within twenty minutes. 'Oh, woe unto me, I'm an untalented, weak willed, unmotivated hack, unfit to hold a pen,' The Writer thought, feeding the conflagration with more oxygen. The flames leaped higher, boldly yellow in his dark landscape. 'Write a story? Indeed, I should consider myself fortunate that the town didn't arm themselves and hunt me down for daring to write.'
Then, since, you know, it's just writing, and there were other things going on in my life, I went off and did other things.
The Writer hid during that time, but sometime as I attended home repairs and cleaning, shopping, feeding cats, and chatting with my wife, The Writer found some worthwhile writing activities and asked for permission to get back to it when the opportunity arrived. So there I was, hours later, writing as though nothing had happened.
Today I'm back at it. The conflagration is out. Inspecting the damage, there isn't any. The pools of misery and self-pity are drained. I've posted warning signs so that The Writer doesn't fall into them again, but privately, he probably will. The Writer can be such an idiot.
Meanwhile, The Writer is happy, writing away in a science fiction story, where publication is in a far, far, far future, and has nothing to do with the story. He's traveling on starships, exploring new worlds, watching characters and telling their stories.
Someday, when he returns to Earth, he'll worry about publication again. I just need to remember to keep those signs up and keep the pools drained.
The Writer really can be very stupid and immature. I guess it's just his passionate nature.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com