I have to be in a certain head space in order to write. If I am too stressed I can't write but if I'm not writing, I feel stressed! It is a cycle that can get ugly real quick.
But why can't I just sit down and write?
Because I am such a hot house flower when it comes to writing. I have to be comfortable, fed, and have hours stretched out before me with nothing to do. No pressing appointments. No student essays staring at me from a pile on my desk. It can't be too sunny or I want to go out and play. It can't be too rainy or I want to go back to bed. I can't be too bored or I'm understimulated. I can't have too much to do or I'm distracted.
In fact, I am usually unwashed, haphazardly dressed and generally disheveled when I show up at my desk. I would be embarassed for anyone to see me in my usual "writer's uniform."
And it isn't that I don't have goals. I tell myself that my goal is to write 2000 words a day. If I write 1000+ I'm happy.
The problem is once I sit down to write, I often don't quite know what to do with myself. I have all these visions in my head of what I should be doing and how the writing should be going. And all these "shoulds" often shut me down entirely and the "words of wonder" well goes dry.
You would think after two published books, it would be easier. That I could just sit down and type by now. I mean it sounds easy enough. 1. go to the computer 2. Turn it on. 3. Start typing.
But it is never that easy!
|But why is it so hard, Kory? You just make up shit and write it down, right?|
But that illusion hinders--it doesn't help. It keeps me from simply saying "Yeah, I've got 30 minutes, so I"m going to write. So what if those words suck or if I can only get 10 on the page. To hell with Hollywood standards!"
So here I am saying that while yes, some days are good and the writing is amazing and there is no better head space in the world than that--more often, writing is work. Serious work.
But I won't let that stop me.