Homo Fabula

Synaptic Misfirings of an unpublished author

Saturday, July 08, 2006


The Preamble
Got a rejection slip for a short story the other week.
It's the sort of thing I have attempted to prepare myself for, understanding that it doesn't mean the end of my writing career or that all of my work is invalid, but then I saw it there in cold hard ink and it... well, it all seemed a little hollow.
It didn't hit me at all intellectually, but I found afterwards that it became very hard to get myself writing, and that whatever I produced seemed... lacklustre. 
I'm over it now, but  this is a common thread I've had throughout my life - rejection doesn't really affect me on the surface, but emotionally I find it hard to reorient and remotivate myself. It implies a difference between understanding something intellectually and emotionally, a subject I find interesting.
So that's why I haven't been blogging much lately. It's not self-pity or depression, just a lack of motivation of the kind I can only get over by writing, and rediscovering the joy of it. 

Just do it
That's the bizarre thing about the subject of motivation for me: I can repeat motivational phrases and affirmations until I'm blue in the face, and though they help at least take the sting out of whatever I'm trying to do, the only way I can really get motivated and start to truly enjoy what I'm doing is if I ... well, do it.

Real Writers Block
This is true of Writers block as well - it's not a tiny demon sitting in your head running out of ink, it's not your inward scream as your body tumbles into the abyss of mediocrity, it's just a lack of motivation, one that can be overcome with work. There's a good book I know of full of prompts and hints, called funnily enough The Writer's Block.
And there's a little more to it than that as well. Writers block, art block, whatever, that doubt only comes from a realisation that your work can be improved and a way to make it better. It can cause a little depression, but only if you allow yourself to be shackled by the past - look to the future, see what truly amazing stuff you are capable of, and reach for it. Claim it, for though it's not you now, it's what you can be. Adaptation and advancement are things we should always strive for, as the second a person in the creative arts stops doing that, they die inside.


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