Sunday, 14 June 2009
Sunday Salon - Writer's Block!
Thanks so much to Emily at Telecommuter Talk for writing the post that sparked this idea for me. She wrote about the difference between having an active imagination and an over-active imagination. For both of us, the over-active imagination comes out (in one of many various ways) in imaginary discourses with a very critical inner critic. In my comment to Emily on her post, I described my inner critic as 'a judge from Plymouth times who is almost impossible to please." It doesn't matter what I write lately, once I've gone away for the day from my work, out he comes and starts saying I am stealing plots and ideas, or just uninspiring and boring, and it's already been done, and I'm not adding anything to what's been written before.
I couldn't describe him clearly until just now, for the first time ever, when I realized, describing him to Emily, that he was like a combination of a witchcraft judge from Salem MA, and the judge from Peter S Beagle's Tamsin that I read last summer. It's only taken me 35 years to put a face to this critic!!! It was actually Stephanie in the comments to the post who described her inner critic, so I owe her a thanks too.
My answer to Emily's inner critic and to my own, is the same: it doesn't matter the audience you create for. If you write - or create anything for that matter, be it a sampler, a work of art, a garden, a song for your band - my daughter's bead necklaces - the important thing is that I, and you, create from the truth - write what the true story is, the real story, paint what we see, create what we know. The audience will come to it, they always find a way to it. Maybe not in our lifetime, but maybe we are creating something for the future. You, and I, can't know, until we have finished it, what we are even doing.
I know I would rather be writing than almost anything else in the world, so I also know that I have to put my inner critic, fearsome as this judge is, in his corner and tell him to shut up.
So thank you Em, for a most inspirational post!
I have to also admit that the clearest image I have for the 'real story' is from Stephen King's On Writing, because he describes the storyteller's job as uncovering the bones of the story. I like this image of passing the brush over the bones, slowly uncovering the story in the dirt of our words, until we have written and rewritten the story until it shines clearly in the full light. That's how I write, too.
And tell me, dear reader, do you have an inner critic who stops you from creating your dreams? Is there a work of art, or some project, you have been longing to do, but keep putting off?