I'm having a hell of a time writing these days. For once it's not outside forces conspiring to make my life miserable.** Here's the sort of dialogue I have with myself when I sit down to work.

me: what's the use? It'll be dreck and I'm out of good ideas anyway.

myself: Shut up. You've been here before and the only way to get past this is to ignore yourself and just write.

me: But we just reread the thing we're writing and it's stupid. Not just badly written but STUPID. POINTLESS. And no one's buying the stuff I already wrote. I mean we love Thank You Mrs. M and no one is buying it. No one.

myself: Would you concentrate on the work at hand? What comes next in that scene with Billy? write it. And please shut up unless you have something useful to say.

me: Fine, all right. But can I just say, it's pretty cool that I know this is a temporary sort of situation. But um ... could you take a moment and reassure me? Please? Maybe tell me that we're probably going to come out the other side and write something okay, right?

myself: It doesn't matter if it's okay. At the moment you're in no position to judge anything. You're entirely unreasonable. So what you have to do is write and shut the fuck up.

me: but I've been internally whinging and doubting myself so much, I need a pick-me-up. Let's see what's going on in Twitterland.

myself: five minutes. Then work.

2 hours later.

me: okay, we'll write. Oh, hey, wait! maybe we should do taxes instead. Yeah, taxes looks like more fun. And they've got to get done.

myself: Taxes are important enough I won't give you crap about avoiding work. But listen, I know you've blown today. Tomorrow you won't have an excuse.

I: Hey, guys! Is it time for my line yet?

me and myself: buzz off. It's a big enough PITA internalization-instead-of-working thing we got going now. We don't need any more voices.

I: well, screw you. I'll have you know there's more going on than just writing and fretting, you know.

me: Oh, that is such bullshit. And by the way? Screw you too.

myself: Okay,enough. Just stop. Thank you. It's time to concentrate on finding that 1099-MISC.

me and I: That we can do with pleasure. Yay taxes!


**actually, come to think of it, it rarely is outside forces. My outside forces are always pretty cool. I mean rejections aren't fun but they're not exactly wolves at the door.


  1. I'm totally with myself in saying "just write". Listen to her.

    I've been writing really slowly lately, too. Taking breaks. Looking stuff up on the internet, not feeling immersed in the story. But you know this only passes if you force it to pass by writing anyway. "No Matter What" should be our credo.

    I'll give the advice I believe helps overcome writers' block and self doubt. Find a call for submissions for a short story, this way you're writing to someone else's theme. It becomes like a school assignment you must produce. Because it's short format you can loosen up those writing juices without tackling the overblown marathon of a full novel.

  2. What a great idea!

    Thank you.


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