More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Performance Anxiety?

It's that time again to hang out with the resident Diva badgirl on Wylde Wednesday. I forgot to run the dishwasher this week, so the stripper boot glasses are still dirty. We're stuck with plastic cups that will, of course, hit the recycle bin. I did manage to dig up some penis straws so we can all feel a little naughty, or if you're feeling frustrated, you can chew on them. Have a decadent Godiva-tini and pull up a chair. Are you ready to dish?

Okay, so you've written this novel that is the best thing since Gone With The Wind. It's witty, charming, a touch of angst to tug on the heart, but nothing that makes you want to carve on your wrist with a spork while rocking back and forth in the corner listening to Nightwish. (Wow, I love that Nemo song.)We can't forget the Happily Ever After whose timing was so perfect and we believe that it's a real place and dreams come true and we're clapping because we *do* believe in fairies and... You get my drift. It's the best thing that you've ever written or dreamed of writing. It is the juggernut bastard that ate your brain and told your kids to chew their milk if it was chunky because you couldn't go to the store you...HAD TO WRITE.

That's all over now and you feel like a used condom. Not pretty imagery, but sweetie, you probably look like one too. All used up and hung over, a vessel for these characters to express themselves.

After you take a shower and figure out why the kitchen smells like two small animals died in the sink and find your children gnawing on something that may have once been chips and get them settled in, the invariable question horns its way in to your awareness like a broken underwire in a new bra.

What now?

Aside from after you treat the hangover and spend some much needed time with family, friends, and realize that your friends have their own names and not the ones that you gave the characters.

Again, what now?

Should be an easy question, but it's not. You feel like you're giving a speech naked. You've stripped yourself bare with similes and hyperbole, poured your soul into this work and you wonder, what if that's all I've got?

It's not, but it feels like it is. You remember those moments of sheer brilliance where the words were flowing from your fingertips and you were in the zone, the characters were performing a play, you were just watching and recording. It was a beautiful synergy to be so connected and disconnected from everything at the same time. It was nirvana. If you find that place again, will it be the same? No, but it can be just as good.

Each character pairing, each plot, each piece gives off its own high. That's part of the charm, part of the excitement and part of the paralyzing fear. You think you've hit a stride, but this new one doesn't feel the same. Is it as good?

Since I've finished How To Lose A Demon in 10 Days, I've learned that you can't think about all that. You just have to let the story take you like you did before. You can't worry about trying to force it into specific parameters. You have to write the story that is there and accept that it may not be as good as the one before it. Or it may be better.

Each book is like a birth, so each one is like a child. You love each and every one for their differences and every cute little individual thing that they do that is wholly theirs.

So, this still begs that question, what do we do? We write. We write until the words stop coming or our fingers fall off. We keep producing the stories that live inside of us because we have to. Don't put up a filter between you and your muse, you trusted her with your firstborn, why stop now?


Liane Gentry Skye said...

what a fantastic post. And exactly the one I needed to read tonight. Thank you!

Saranna DeWylde said...

You are certainly welcome. I needed to hear it too. I know these things, but I still needed to hear them. I knew I couldn't be the only one with performance anxiety.

Thanks for the comment love!

Gail Hart said...

Pretty much every writer I've ever talked to is insecure about their work. Thanks for the reminder to trust the muse rather than that nasty inner critic person!

The Sanibel Divas © 2007 Template feito por Templates para Você