Horrors of Writing: The Things That Go Bump
Ms. Jess Brown’s post about Procrastination, Fear, and Big-Foreheaded Witches rather inspired me. I was thinking about the things that dog our steps as writers, thinking about a lot of the comments and dismayed head-to-wall sounds I’ve heard over the years, and I decided that monsters exist.
If you, gentle viewer, have chosen to take the path of a writer, you have opted for a lonely path. An often solitary path. One through a tangled jungle in the center of a raging hurricane with only a canoe and your little toolbox to see you through. There are monsters in these parts. Big ones.
There are several little impy monsters that run around as well, but today, we’ll just talk about three of them. The Ego Monster, the Procrastinate Monster, and everyone’s favorite peach, the Regection Monster. (If you’re wondering why I spelled it that way, you clearly need to click this link, something like now.)
Let’s start with the Ego Monster.
Okay, so if you’re anything like me, your monster doesn’t look like this most of the time. Sure there are probably moments when you envision yourself as the next Jo Rowling or Janet Evanovich, but for most of us, I think our Ego monsters look a little more like this:
I think we’re all familiar with this guy. He’s the one chasing you through the jungle telling you that not only will you not be the next Jo Rowling, but you could never even manage to pull off being the next Numa Numa guy, because you’re lousy and smelly and no one will every want to read what you have to say, not even if you get past the Poom stage.
In spite of the differences, the Ego Monster is all one beast. I’m sure we’ve all heard the quote that says that “only bad writers think their writing is really good.” I don’t entirely agree with Anne Enright on that one, but I do concede the point that if someone waxes eloquent about how their work is better than Shakespeare, it’s safe to say they’re the one shaking a spear. (Okay, that was reaching.)
The next monster is the Procrastinate Monster.
I know, I know.
The most insidious thing about the Procrastinate Monster is that it looks so innocuous. Cute, even. Look at it. Don’t you just want to…stick your face in its fur?
You can’t do that. Because if you do that, you won’t be writing. And you’re supposed to be writing!
Besides, that cute little puppy’s actual form is this:
Again, I say shudder.
The final monster of the day is the Regection Monster. For many of us, he might both be the most prolific monster and the most terrifying.
This monster looks terrifying. He’s got your blood all over his face from sinking his teeth into you over and over again, for god’s sake. And yet, I know something about this monster. A secret.
Come a little closer, and I’ll show you.
The secret behind the Regection Monster is his caption.
It means “Actual Size.”
You see, the nice thing about monsters, is that you can kick their butts. That little Regection Monster is squashable. Donald Trump the Ego Monster (oh, in so many ways) will probably go down with a good right hook or an uppercut. Captain Hammer will disappear if you bring out your inner Doctor Horrible, and as for the Procrastination Monster — its weak spot is seeing it for what it truly is.
It’s not a fuzzy little husky puppy begging for you to snuzzle it.
It’s a vicious, body-stealing, slimy, grotesque monster that wants to shove its tentacles through you until you can’t do anything anymore, let alone write.
Those are the horrors of writing. Yeah, I know they’re scary — but they can be fought.
Now go write.
***As promised, a note about that last picture. I discovered the creator, Trev Murphy, sort of by accident. His work is phenomenal, and I very much enjoyed checking out his website. He has his own website, and you can also find him on DeviantArt and all the requisite social media sites. You can visit his website, which is trevmurphy.com — I hope you all go show him some love.***