About seven years ago, my sister and I moved to a new state and my creative pool dried up and looked as barren as the Arizona landscape that lay outside my front door. I told people I was a writer, because I hated the inevitable question that all servers/bartenders get, “So what else do you do?” or the yet worse, “This isn’t all you do, is it?” (because to outsiders, waiting tables is like purgatory, but the question is an insult. It’s a slap in the face that what you’re doing right now, isn’t good enough, and they’re concerned for you). Oh goodness, that’s a rant for another day. So, about eight months pass, and I haven’t written a word, and yet I keep telling people that’s what I really do. I’m a writer. The thought that plagued me all those months was how could I call myself a writer if I wasn’t writing. A few drafts in on one screenplay does not a writer make. I had written more, all through my youth, but it’s not worth mentioning. And there was a little fear lingering as well. What other stories did I have to tell? Then I remembered a quote from Maya Angelou. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Creativity is a fountain. And as writers we observe. We are never short of ideas, stored in that so-called “vault”. So after a little self-loathing and a metaphorical kick in the ass, I got back to work.
Writing is hard, it’s an art form, and not everyone can do it. But, if it’s who you really are, then don’t let anything derail you! That’s my tip of the day.
I was reminded of this condition when I read this funny article today on Script about Writer Zombies. Don’t let this happen to you.
Best of luck in your writing adventures!
*Swarovski Face Fountain, Austria