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Should we leap into the void, or just throw up in it?

November 19, 2011

By the time you receive your proof, it's time for angst to take a hike.

Newbie writers agonize over turning streams of creativity into words, as do we all. Been there, done that. There are plenty of lamentations on whether to write under a pen name or how many times to rewrite that first draft. So many questions . . .

All writers, regardless of age and experience, seem born with a certain amount of internal panic about starting what they know could turn into a serious work. We worry that our very souls may be exposed to  public scrutiny from the instant that first word forms on the page, and that possibility terrifies us, some more than others.

For all the proffered remedies to writers’ block, one thing was clear, if unstated. The desire to birth one’s untold story has to be stronger than the panic over loss of privacy of self. It is the only path to truly bring about catharsis. You may coddle yourself with steamy whirlpool baths, fine wine, orgies of chocolate or even a naughty weekend rendezvous to coax the words out of you, but in the end it will be that unseen writer in your head that does the trick.

My friend Virgie ( dubbed her own subconscious entity ‘That Writer Bitch, the one who wakes me up at 5:00 a.m. and won’t let me go back to sleep.’ It does the trick for her. I imagine Writer Bitch as a stocky, headstrong, defiant woman, one who taps her foot and shakes her unkempt hair as she nearly bellows “Oh puh-leez, will you just get over yourself and spit it out? We haven’t got all day, you know. Just upchuck on the danged paper and fix it later.”

So much for the romantic side of author angst.

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