Writing Wrongs

March 21, 2007

If thereís one thing Iíve learned about writing (and on some days, I doubt Iíve learned anything), itís for every high thereís a low, and for every low, thereís a corresponding high.

If youíre in a writing slump and happen to encounter someone in a writing high, one thing is clear: They. Are. Annoying.

If youíre going along great, someone in a slump is someone who really needs to spend less time examining their navel.

Peaks and valleys.

So, you get knocked off your peak, go tumbling down into the valley, land on your back and stare up at the sky for bit. This can be okay, unless it starts to rain. But wait, youíre in a valley, so the classic it could be worse applies. It will start to rain.

You pick up whatever it was that knocked you from the peak, tuck it in your rucksack, and climb back out. The good news is the longer youíve been writing, the stronger you are. The bad news is sometimes along with the thing that knocked you off the peak, youíre carrying everything that ever knocked you off the peak. That ruck is heavy.

I donít have any specific recommendations for getting out of the valley. It depends, I think. Perfectly good suggestions can be the last thing you want to hear. Oh, go fill the creative well. Screw the creative well. Try a prompt--theyíre freeing. Screw prompts.

And so on. Sometimes youíre carrying around a lot of attitude in a valley as well.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is acknowledge that youíre in a writing valley. Youíve been in one before, which means at some point, you can get out. You hang on, maybe try to lighten the rucksack, and eventually climb out.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 3:56 p.m.