On Caring for My Inner Writer

Like I’ve said before, this month is pretty busy for me – thus, I can only write for this blog about once or twice a week.  That isn’t to say that I haven’t been writing – I’ve been working hard creating content at my copywriting job (the details of which I cannot divulge, on pain of death), and most of my personal writing (the poem rewrites and the ever-changing Apocalypse short story) ended up in a small-ish notebook with a green, black, yellow and gold cover.  Mostly written in gel pens of varying colors because I freaking love gel pens.

That being said, I’m also not going to lie:  I’m letting writer’s block get the better of me.  Every time I hit a dead end in my writing or revisions, I deal with it by either playing Okamiden on my Nintendo DS (I tell myself it inspires me, when all it really does is make me want to swear at drums) or reading random links on my social networks, which turn out to be major time sinks (like Text from Dog; care of Ms. Jeri Ryan, a famous actress I adore).  In other words, my productivity is completely shot.  And that’s bad if I really want to post a decent revision of that poem on this blog and submit that Apocalypse story by the end of the month.

Thankfully, I ran across some good reading that can help me take care of myself.  It’s this old post on the Timothy McSweeney site about how one should care for and train one’s very own writer.

It’s a little tongue in cheek, of course, and it’s actually addressed to the people around me (I should probably get my mother to read that), but I’d like to think I can apply the following to myself so I can get past this writer’s block that I probably led myself to:

On preparing the home for a writer

“Keep in mind that your writer may not write right away. Never shout at your writer. If your writer is frightened, he or she may run.”  So yeah, I will try to keep myself from becoming frustrated at my own inaction.  Maybe that can get me to work more.

On what to expect of a writer

“By mistaking research for leisure activity, well-meaning but inexperienced caregivers often disrupt critical chains of reasoning.”  I really should stop questioning whether it’s right to ogle Nathan Fillion on TV when I really should be thinking of ideas for my story and my poem.  After all, he can be the inspiration for my protagoni-HEY!  That’s a great idea!  Thank you, Mr. Fillion, for being so gorgeous and geeky (most awesome space cowboy EVER).

On the presence of babies

“Never leave the writer alone with the baby. Ever.”  While that article suggests that a writer will become jealous of a new member of the group, I only find this applicable because the babies in my life are adorably distracting and leave me in a mindless stupor for hours afterwards.  Yes, I know you that all people say that their infant relatives are the most adorable.  But I think my nephews are going to sublimate you into a hazy lavender glow the moment they smile at you.  At the same time.

With these thoughts as part of my arsenal, I hope to find more success in finishing the personal work I had set out to do (even as I’m making a dent on the workload at my job).  What are the things that YOU guys do to care for your inner writer?  Drop me a line. 🙂

3 thoughts on “On Caring for My Inner Writer

  1. Some people say you need to dedicate a continuous block of time to a specific task. The brain needs to shift gears to do well at a particular activity. However, since inspiration can be erratic, I tend to just write down short, random things as I think of them. When I’m ready to write a blog post, I sit down and string them together into something resembling a coherent chain of thought. Basically, I just make sure I have enough material for my inner writer to work with when he’s ready to do his thing.

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