The Nine Worlds of Writers (and how to make them perfect adjacent)
I’ve been told for six months that “its gonna get busier” at work, a cringe-worthy phrase in the light of my current 45-hour work week and 45-minute one-way commute, coupled with living with a steadily declining dementia sufferer. So when my editor told me she needed my blog series by the 29th of June, I could literally feel my frontal lobe slamming into my skull. I’m already on empty. Staving off an inner toddler tantrum, I denied my anxiety, allowing only the tiniest “In a perfect world I’d have…” moment. Truth is, there are lots of “worlds” out there, none of which are perfect. It’s all in how we as writers spin them. So over the next nine weeks, I’m going to spin a few of which I am familiar:
Welcome to the nine worlds of writers!
The world of giants
This world is full of things and people bigger than you. At any given moment, situations can sprout arms and legs and grow ten feet tall, blocking the view and stomping out dreams. Some of them compete for mental real estate, while others just scare us and send us running away from our writing work. While most of them can get big and unruly quickly, they can be managed with little things like scheduled writing time and setting parameters with family, friends, and other hobbies to allow for time with your creative self.
The really scary giants though are the ones we create in our minds when we speak the words “I’m not as good as” or “I can’t write like” or “I shouldn’t waste my time on.”
The only way to rid your world of this type of giant is: don’t give it voice. “Good” writing is largely subjective. Protect your mental and emotional land from marauding ego-stomping giants by educating yourself on the craft of writing. Write, write, and rewrite. Find a focus group that will read your work. Use an editor. And if you want to publish, do your homework on several publishing entities before you send something off to any of them. Make sure you follow the publishing house’s instructions. Your amazing sci-fant novella will never be picked up by Zondervan, but Rad Writing might just love you and your world full of ten-foot-tall hominids.
The thing about most giants is that they may be big, but they’re inherently slow. Most giants can be killed or rendered harmless by a little sweat equity, leaving you time and space to write. So when you are surrounded by giants, be a giant killer. Even better, should you see something large and hairy looming on your horizon, enforce your protective parameters and banish the giant from your realm.
Prepare ahead for giants and you’ll spend minimal time dealing with them in your world. There is a story arc regarding David and Goliath that addresses dealing with giants. While David took out Goliath with one well-placed stone, he chose five stones before facing Goliath. Be prepared. It may take more than one projectile lobbed at the head of your giant, but it will fall.