I like my horoscopes when I agree with them – and I realize how wrong that is. But I really liked this one from Free Will Astrology (for Aries):
“Controlled hysteria is what is required,” said playwright Arthur Miller in speaking about his creative process. “To exist constantly in a state of controlled hysteria. It’s agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take my agony home and teach it to sing.” I hope this little outburst inspires you, Aries. It’s an excellent time for you to harness your hysteria and instruct your agony in the fine art of singing. To boost your chances of success in pulling off this dicey feat, use every means at your disposal to have fun and stay amused.”
I’ve got a lot going on in my writing life and lots of it’s fun and some of it’s hair pulling and that’s basically the norm, the way it’s been since even before I got published. I can’t imagine it will ever be any different, but as long as the fun is there, then it’s okay. And I think that sometimes writers forget the fun of the actual writing (I know I do) and that sometimes if you’re all tense and pissed off in general, most of the time you’re not pissed at the external forces in your life…no, it’s that you haven’t written. You’ve got to think of it like a balloon that’s too full – until you syphon (siphon?) off some of the air, it’s going to be uncomfortable to the point of bursting. But once you actually write something – anything – there’s relief. There’s that, oh, that’s what’s been missing.
I used to hate to hear from published writers who’d say, don’t rush to get published because you don’t know how good you have it. And I still don’t agree with that and I’ll never say it. What I will say is that you have to love what you do because in the end, that’s going to be what matters. If you don’t love it, if you don’t get twitchy as hell if you haven’t written, then that means you can quit, and if you can quit, you might be better off. I think Mark Twain has a quote to that effect.
In a way, writing now through Mom being sick reminds me a lot of when I started writing and why – when my daughter was born and she was sick and I wrote to escape but also to be able to stay close to her while I escaped. I still love hearing from readers who will especially tell me that my work got them through a tough time in their lives, because to me, that’s what I set out to do. My key audience, in my mind, is me, sitting along by my kid’s bedside all alone at 3AM in the hospital and being able to be there with her and still being able to get pulled into another world. So that’s my core audience, in my mind, my ideal reader, as Stephen King says in On Writing. Every writer needs that person to keep in mind because that’s what’s going to stop you from trying to please everyone, to figure out what’s important enough in the story to make that ideal reader love it.
On that note, I have SO much writing to do 🙂 Spoke to my editor yesterday about DIRE WANTS and what fixes it needs but mainly she loves it and says it moves very fast and it’s very fun. So YAY! All good stuff.