The Writer’s War Within. . .

The Writer’s War Within: Exploring the Creative Battleground When Watcher and the Muse Fight for Your Time

(for the story behind this vomit draft, see the previous post: 15 on the Fives, no. 7)

This is raw, folks. But it’s a draft of something, nonetheless. We’ll see where it goes.

(Already the watcher looks over my shoulder as I write this piece. I am fighting him just to write a piece about fighting him…Would this be called meta-writing, then? Or meta-battling?)

One of my favorite books is called the Tao of Health, which focuses on establishing balance in all aspects of your life. In the first chapter on diet and nutrition and understanding food combinations, Daniel Reid states that most people don’t need to worry too much about how their bodies metabolize the foods they eat. As with everything else, there are extremeson the continuum. Some people metablolize food quickly (I hate you all) and some people metabolize at the speed of sludge in a still pond. Those of us who are slow metabolizers must work very hard just to sustain our weight, let alone lose a pound or two.

A writer’s metabolism — the way we use our energy to produce good writing that makes a difference — falls on a similar continuum. Most people fall in the middle (although this “center” of the continuum is much closer to the Censor than it is to the Muse), where they manage their writing and their internal battle with their Censor on an as-needed basis. This “Center” fills only 33% of the continuum, and the remaining 66% is filled by the energy of the Muse (see pic below).

Censor and the Muse Battle It Out

Unfortunately, few of us journey deeply to the right, and the metabolic energy to create is often untapped because of the energy it takes to break free of the Censor.

Somewhere, early on in your childhood, your Censor was given the negativity it needed to be born. Maybe it was a bad comment on a paper you wrote, or the lack of recognition from a parent. At some time, somewhere, from someone, your Censor was given the chance to grow. And like a cancer, it continuted to grow and spread dangerously through you. The symptoms were clear: low self-esteem, procrastination, avoidance, etc. And, as time passed, the Censor settled in and became a permanent resident. It was content, even happy, to be in such an environment where, with a simple comment or two, it thrived on all you did — or didn’t do.

Being aware of the grasp the Censor can have on us is half the battle. Recognize that the Censor has only one goal: To stop you from succeeding in establishing a strong, healthy relationship with your muse. It should be passionate, intimate, risky, beautiful…

Once you make up your mind that you refuse to give your Censor the satisfaction of stopping you, there’s no telling how far you can go in all that you wish to accomplish.