Internal-Demon-Editor

Yes, that is my definition of writer’s block.

Even now as I’m typing I can feel myself wanting to draw back to the comfy chair/couch/bed and just veg-out. Veg-out and listen to my characters’ voices live in my head because writing them out on the paper is too much work. They are perfect in my head, but once on the screen they require work. And who the heck wants to work at writing, right?

Writing isn’t real work, now is it? It’s all make-believe and play acting and just goofing off. It’s not as if writers ever accomplish anything that’s worth anything. We’re not solving the economy or world disputes, let alone making oodles of money. Heck, if you’ve read one horror or romance or mystery or fantasy story, you’ve read them all. Besides anyone can write…even the proverbial monkey could type out a Shakespearean tale given enough time.

With that attitude no wonder procrastination is so easy. And, if the above is also your support system, well don’t even bother showing up to the screen cause it’s all uphill from here.

Writing is work. Writing isn’t a moneymaking venture. Writing won’t solve anyone’s problems. Writing will deliver the news to you. Writing will entertain you. Writing will allow you to escape from the blahs of your normal everyday life. Writing will show you new views on old ideas and maybe even a new idea or two.

Every single time you turn on the television or go to a movie or read a paper or listen to music or even play a computer game…someone wrote that. Someone sat down and put words to screen/paper so that you can – watch TV, a movie, have a paper or music, and play a game.

And it ain’t easy. If it was then anybody could do it. Writing takes more than showing up and talking about writing. It takes sitting your butt down and blocking out everyone and everything around you while you bring your imagination to life.

Right now, having typed that last sentence, I’m trying to think of the next words I want to use. What do I mean – bring your imagination to life – where is that taking me next? It sounds easy enough; just bring imaginary characters to life. So why then doesn’t the character of Derrick, the one in my head, sound or act on screen/paper as he does in my head? Why does his story make so much sense in my imagination than when I type it? Maybe because I’m trying to put something visual and active into a two-dimensional medium and it’s up to me, and me alone, to find the words and jigsaw them together into a clear perfect picture. I need to put the puzzle together so that you, my reader, can see what I’m saying…or at least something very similar to what I’m saying.

Before anyone says anything, yes a writer never works alone. There are his/her critique groups, early readers, editors, and publishers…but even before them, a writer has to move from the imaginary to the reality.

No, I do not have writer’s block. I am very good friends with my internal-demon-editor. And, here I thought I was going to talk about procrastination.

13 thoughts on “Internal-Demon-Editor”

  1. Chris,
    I share the problem of hearing voices. I can’t shut them off no matter how hard I try. They invade my sleep, my showers, and pretty much everything I do. Even when I sit down to write, they argue over who takes precedent, and I love every story so much, I can’t decide what to write. So, I’m stalled…not because I want to procrastinate, but because I’m baffled. I guess I’ll want and see which ones throws the loudest tantrum, and go from there. 🙂

    I wanted you to realize you aren’t alone. *lol*

    Ginger

  2. That internal demon has many characters. Some days he’s a surfer on the Internet, other days he’s the kids coach or boy scout leader, other days it’s the music inside my head wanting me to go out and dance in the real world for a while… But then, I come in out of the dark, the light shines in my face and I must dim it with black type.

    My own version of an eclipse – wipe out white paper with black print? Who knew?

    As for Lea being the demon… I’ve noticed horns and a pitchfork tail at times, but the blonde hair covers quite well. The eyes, however, have been known to shoot darts!

    Today, I’m being a slug. Sweats, a cozy sweatshirt, socks and those scuffy shoes that slip on and off easy (pink fuzzy ones) feel good against the bitter cold that waited outside the covers, and I’m writing! YAY!

    Okay – A BLOG POST is WRITING!

    Come visit http://acewriters.com or better yet, grab a cup of joe at http://coffeeclatter.com/blog and see what the local writers are up to during these bitter cold Colorado days.

  3. What a GREAT post! You have verbalized every single thing I feel as my characters shout at me in the shower, or before bed, or when I want to watch LOST.

    The Demon is definitely inside of me, as is the Procrastination gene.

    Actually, I hope my TV doesn’t work when digital comes around. I will go back to listening to the radio and writing… unless, of course, I start watching TV online.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. As someone who makes my living as a writer, it IS a moneymaking venture. It’s how I pay my bills. Writer’s block is the luxury of those who don’t pay their bills with their pens.

    I’m also passionate about my work. There’s no reason that, because I earn my living doing this, I can’t love it. That’s the myth of the cubicle slave, that if you get paid, it can’t be “art”, it can’t be “useful”, it can’t mean anything.

    Bull pucky.

    That’s a myth perpetuated by those who hate their lives, but don’t have the guts to make positive changes.

    When you have tough days at the computer, that’s when you rely on the CRAFT of writing and push your way through it. Structure, grammar, plot, story, character, dialogue — you go to the nuts and bolts and build from the ground up when the inspiration flows like molasses or quick-drying cement.

    Also, remember that sometimes you have a tough day at the page because you NEED that time sitting on the couch letting it play out in your head. Percolation time is vital to creative time and that translates into actually having something to say when you face the page.

    However, part of your craft, when this is what you rely on to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head, is to learn how to truncate the process.

  5. Chris, great post. I’m a great one at procrastinating, but when I’m writing fiction, I find it’s more like a movie playing in my head. I close my eyes, watch for awhile, then put everything down on paper. Just as Jan said, your blog is writing. If you get stumped with one type of writing, try another. If the creative juices don’t flow with creating a character, try writing a non-fiction piece. Write an article about the best way to write a review. Write an essay about what your six year old did which was absolutely amazing. Don’t let the demon editor get you down.

  6. Chris, when I first read this I thought that you were talking about the negative self talk we give to ourselves when we write. My characters come straight out of my head onto the paper. But afterward, when the story is done is when my demon comes out to play. Should I sub it or should I revise it again? But you are right. Sometimes my demon editor keeps me from writing a whole chapter because I think I don’t know enough to write it. Thanks for putting this into words and not letting your demon editor stop you this time.:)

  7. Thank you, everyone. Not only have you made me smile for reading and posting at my blog. You have supported me, I’m not alone, and have given me new ways to view my writing.

    Thank you

    C

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *