There are days when I’d rather hack off my own head with a rusty saw than sit down and write.
It’s not so much writer’s block as it is an odd combination of stubbornness, laziness and that bat-shit crazy part of my brain which will always tell me that, no matter where I am nor what I’m doing, I could be somewhere else doing something better.
Still, I have to write.
Even when I’d rather go for a run, or watch a movie, or do the laundry or call up my friend and ask to borrow his rusty saw, I have to sit down and turn some words into sentences.
So I do, and I’m horrible at it. Or at least, I think I’m horrible at it.
Take yesterday, when I sat down and, despite wanting to reach for that rusty saw, somehow churned out precisely 1073 words of a story I’m working on.
Every single one of those 1073 words came slowly, oozing their way through a thick fog of stubbornness and crawling onto the page where they sat, fat and lethargic and horrifically ugly.
Every one of those 1073 words sucked.
Every. Single. One.
They didn’t look right, didn’t sit right on the page, didn’t do their job right. They sucked. I’d just produced over a thousand words of crap, and every single one of those words mocked me.
See? They snarled. You knew you shouldn’t have written today. Look what happens when you do!
Then, something else happened.
A bunch of hours later, Stacy and I had nothing better to do, so I said this:
‘Tell you what, why don’t I read you what I wrote today?’
Apparently even more fed up than I was, she agreed. So I read to her.
Every single one of those words came quick and easy, dancing off the page and falling perfectly into their rightful place to create this vivid, exciting piece of work.
Damn, this was some good stuff.
Far from writing a thousand words of suck, it turned out I’d actually come up with something a decent bit of writing which fit comfortably and happily into my story.
That’s why I still write, even on those days when the world seems to present any number of alternatives to doing so. It’s why I still write even when I’d rather hack off my own head with a rusty saw.
I write despite the crisis of confidence and self-doubt. I do it for those times when I can look back on something I wrote and think yeah, y’know what? That was pretty good.