All great authors work on the fly, right?

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

I have an image of an author, and it’s probably untrue. Frazzled, they work in the poorly lit corner of a coffee shop or a den. Paper is everywhere, even if they work on a computer, and they wipe at black ink on their forehead like they’re sweating it. Honestly, sometimes I think that’s why I have tattoos, because I have half a belief that there’s already ink in my blood.

I have a terrible suspicion that some part of my psychology is trying to create situations where I can better resemble that image. How else could one explain the chronic procrastination, the lack of project commitment, and the many broken self promises? At this point, if I were dating myself, I’d ask for a divorce. My inner author is clearly unreliable. A liar. Just throw the whole thing out.

Sadly, that’s proving impossible. How could one remove a whole section of their self? My mood swings over the last week alone could prove that my inner writer is tired of being ignored. There’s work to be done, and it eats at the parts that harbor guilt.

Part of the problem is that I don’t think I have many good role models of careful, consistent creators. Every author or creator I can think of “suffered”. Did they have to? Who knows? Better question — would they have created better works or worse if they were happy?

I gotta say, I was working far better when I was unhappy. I miss that angry girl. She had hustle, and I appreciate that in a person. She awoke with purpose every day.

Every day Medium recommends for me a new story of “how I made writing a daily habit”, all about people who are successful and make it sound easy. And I’ve stopped reading those articles. Yeah, even I am getting bored of reading about my own failures as a writer. But for some reason the polished image of a true professional doesn’t make sense to me.

My life is not that neat. Is it bad if I like it that way?

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