Category Archives: Self-Knowledge

Writing on the Wall

So I’ve hit a wall.

I’ve got plenty going on in my life right now, a lot of it really good, but for some unknown reason I’m having a very difficult time writing about it, here or in my journal. It’s a common enough occurance in the life of a writer, but damn is it annoying when it happens.

The last time I went through this was at least 5 years ago, and it was hell. I’d sit down, journal in hand and pen at the ready, and I simply couldn’t start. The blank pages taunted me.

This time round I have both a blank page and a blank screen to face, and it’s not any better. Perhaps it’s because my focus is changing, but my writing habits haven’t yet. The moment my pen hovers over the paper a couple decades of habit come into play, and it’s a struggle to not fall back into those comfortable ways.

Well, you’ll just all get to come along for the ride then, won’t you?


Who Says Being Neurotic Can’t Lead To Self Knowledge?

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Physical Evidence of my creative process in action

Just before Christmas I was asked to read a book on a subject I knew little about, and write a review of it for the purpose of publication. A little shocked, I said yes before I could come up with a good enough reason to say no.

I had a very short amount of time to get grounded in this particular subject, and that steep learning curve mocked me at every step. I took to carrying the book around along with a moleskine cahier for notes. I spent hours at the public library after work, looking up some of the books referenced. I did a lot of googling and fretting.

By the time I sat down to draft my review, I had gleaned a fair bit of knowledge, but I harboured some strong doubts about my ability to pull this off. My personal demons had been very, very busy. I swear they’d been stockpiling negativity for just such an occasion.

I wrote. I scratched things out. I sat in front of the computer and typed, then depyted. (For you knitters out there, depyted is to typed what tinking is to kniting.)

I returned to fretting, but quickly moved into denial – after all, I always fall back on the things I’ve practiced most. With half a dozen pages of scribbles and a rough draft I was unhappy with, I unwisely decided to ignore the whole thing and lost myself in the tail-end of another old movie – The Maltese Falcon, to be precise.

Eventually though, I had to get back to it, and face up to a difficult truth. I was afraid to fail. Or rather, I was afraid to have to accept the possibility that I was responsible for failing. As long as I didn’t work on the project and put in maximum effort, I could say I failed because I hadn’t tried. But if I did try and I failed anyway?

I might have to deal with a very different set of circumstances then, wouldn’t I?

The good news is that with Lunchtruck’s help, I didn’t let the demons win. I ripped the original draft apart, and sent it on to my editor. She liked it. Will it get published? I hope so. But at this point, I already feel like I’ve won something major, so if it does get published, it’ll be cake.