Glossy Groove ~ October 21 ~ The Enemy Within
The content below the cut is suitable for PG-13 readers and older.
In the October 1 “Glossy Groove” blog post, I’d referenced Craig English’s article in the October 2012 issue of, The Writer, “Set Your Writing Free.” This is the follow-up to that post. Along with great insight and humor, English’s acknowledgement of his demons, as he calls them, hit a definite dissonant chord with me.
There are days when I procrastinate when it comes to writing. I get more projects completed which have sat around for days, weeks and months when I’m in procrastination mode than when I actually allot the time for a specific task. I have no trouble getting into the kitchen and getting it uptight. My list of errands-to-do becomes significantly longer.
On the subject of avoidance techniques, English says that they are learned in childhood. What comes to mind immediately for me are the creative ways I learned to get out of chores. However, he elaborates on this to include the ways we learn to cope with pain, sadness, loss and anger. As we become adults we then continue these behavior patterns as they’re comfortable to us and our thinking has learned to default to them.
English goes on to name two primary categories of demons which keep our creativity from flowing freely. He calls them original demons and intimate demons. The former he defines as our fears which keep us from performing the task or tasks at hand. Who’da thunk that the emotions which I extolled in yesterday’s morning post as being integral to our writing with depth and authenticity could have a negative, more insidious presence. These emotions, according to Craig English, attach themselves to a work in progress and can either help or hinder the progress of that project. They are your intimate demons. These can include our personal biases, prejudices, inadequacies, etc.
I prefer to see these demons as sharing the same umbrella, the umbrella labeled enemies. These are my enemies within. Poor Captain Kirk is a psychological mess in the episode of the original Star Trek, “The Enemy Within”, in which a transporter accident results in a literal split of his personality. He becomes a Jekyll and Hyde each occupying one of two bodies. How better to get to know someone when you can see their better and worse selves contrasted side by side?
My enemies within which tell me my writing is lame, my writing is substandard, I’m wasting my time, are there as a result of the sum of my experiences. Since my inner voices can’t be any more knowledgeable than I am overall, if I don’t have the expertise to say whether a story, or book or other work is of the highest quality or lowest example of inability, then how can my inner voices have the final word? And, keep in mind, we are always, always our own worst critics. Whether it be of our writing, our art, or our other endeavors, we are our own worst possible judges.
In this month’s “Glossy Groove,” I also refer to Melissa Hart’s review of Rosanne Bane‘s Book, Around The Writer’s Block. Her article “Suffering from Writer’s Block? Retrain Your Brain to Beat It,” includes excerpts from the book which suffice to entice the reader to acquire the book for further perusal. One thing Bane does in her book, which surprises me, is to include “. . . procrastination, paralysis, perfectionism, postponing, distractions, self-sabotage, excessive criticism, over scheduling, and endlessly delaying your writing . . . ,” in the list of behaviours which constitute procrastination. I practice several of these regularly and have raised them to an art form. What about you?
I changed tabs to look up something in google and was surprised to find this image below. When I hover, it says, Happy Birthday Grinelda. How kewl. My B-Day is today. 😀