Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.
Do you know the most exhausting, annoying, infuriating, and energy-sucking thing about my freelance writing career?
ME. I’m the problem client. I’m what’s bugging me this week.
After a horrible night’s sleep, I sat down on my couch, coffee and beloved MacBook Pro in hands, and bemoaned my horrible lot in life. A recent star level upgrade, coupled with a new garage space in my queue, enhanced by some solo work, augmented by an inexplicable run of luck on the open jobs board, left me with several pieces to write in two days. Something I’ve been working toward and wanting for my entire three-and-a-half months of writing content here at WriterAccess!
And then the drones started circling:
Oh no. I did not get any sleep last night. How will I pull my head together to do one of these, let alone three, by tomorrow?
Oh no. I’ll have to bail out of one or two and WA will demote/dismiss me.
Oh no. What if I never sleep again and my insomnia turns me into a homeless bag lady because I can’t write enough to pay rent and I’m clearly unqualified for anything else?
How did getting exactly what I’ve wanted and worked hard for suddenly turn into the very thing that would guarantee my ruin? I have now spun myself into pre-panic attack mode, and it’s all conjecture! It’s anticipatory and self-generated writer’s block. It’s not even REAL most of the time. But look how hard I work to make it real!
For whatever reasons, this tipping point incident made the insanity of my own belief system, and the absolute lunacy that pervades my own inner universe, appallingly clear and pathetically undeniable. I don’t think I’m crazier now than I used to be. Maybe it’s the opposite? Maybe because I’m less crazy, I notice insanity more quickly? I now appear to be channeling Anne Lamott.
Speaking of Anne Lamott, why all this ongoing angst when I know, from
years decades of experience, that once I just START – anywhere – with any tiny little word or concept that feels like it has energy or life in it, the writing eventually flows, word by word? Somehow a full piece starts to take painful shape with a life force of its own, sh***y first draft after sh***y fifth draft.
I slowly back away from the laptop when the brain is drained and I’m sure I’ll never receive an Exceeded again, certain that my future holds nothing but a long trail of cat sick and DNMs. I take a vigorous walk, a steamy shower, or a hot salt soak. Not too much later, the fog lifts, I return to the Mac, fix everything that needs fixing, and hit “Send to Client” with great relief. And so far my clients have been happy with my work.
I resolve to get my insane inner lunatic out of my own way, and out of my own head, with a renewed commitment this year. I plan to do a complete revision of my entire belief system and habit patterns, in all parts of my life and character. Most especially with the freelance writer part of my character.
Laura W is a reclusive, INFJ, wanna-be hermitess with, shall we say, a “rich inner life.”