Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blogger Goblins

Maybe a better name for this post would be Blogger Demons. I should market bumper stickers that say "Got Demons?" and sell them at writers' conferences. I bet I'd make a fortune.

Yes, all of us writers have demons. Lots of 'em. Under different disguises. For some people, the mother of all demons is WRITER'S BLOCK. I know a writer who is so superstitious about this that he won't even say the phrase aloud. In fact, he gave me a book that contained those two words in the title, and taped the letter C over the B in the second word, thus changing the work to a discourse about Writer's Clock. Of course, he's heavily involved in theater, so I could probably scare four years off his life by walking up behind him and whispering "MacBeth" in his ear.

But demons come in all shapes and sizes. I have heard some successful writers talk about theirs, and I'm always blown away by what occurs to some people. I heard a best-selling author (believe me, you'd know his name, but it's not my place to air his confidences) once talk about his constant fear of not being able to write past page 40. That he would come to that particular page number and the book would be finished because he'd run out of plot points. I know a Young Adult/Middle Grade writer, also a best-seller, who worries that he is too old to write what he does, and that what he says will have no meaning for his target audience. Also clearly not the case, as he continues to sell and sell and sell.

My particular demons jump out of the floorboards and dance around the computer desk when I confront the blank screen and the blinking cursor. There are times I look at the screen and then get up and walk away. Coward! the demons hiss after me, chortling with glee. I come back eventually, and they start up again at once. On a good day, I can kick them all back into their little box under the floorboards, but there are other times... Well, best left to the imagination.

The blog goblin is the one that leers at me at the beginning of every week and says "What are you going to write about this time?" as he swings from his perch on the door to my office and hangs upside down. "You haven't got any idea, do you?" And he cackles.

If I could throw things at this little creep, I'd do it. But of course, if I start throwing things at the door to my office, my husband would have a fit about the damage done. And possibly have me hauled away by ambulance. So my battles remain internal, a struggle to find an interesting topic while munching on way too many Hershey miniatures and perhaps the odd bag of chips.

Today, the little hobgoblins have given me a topic simply by existing. Next week, I won't be so lucky. But maybe by then my muse will have come back from her 20-year trek through Everywhere-Else-But-Here and handed me a worthy idea. In the meantime, back to the Hershey bars. I wonder if goblns eat chocolate?

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