“Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.” ~William S. Burroughs~ Click To Tweet
It all started with a motivational speaker.
I’d been listening to his rousing rhetoric and decided to follow his advice regarding positive affirmations, as a strategy for achieving success. Call me gullible if you like, but I found myself thinking: yeah, I’ll try that.
So, feeling self-conscious, I began speaking to myself. I said: I shall be an accomplished, prolific, and successful writer. But nothing happened!
Not surprising really, I suppose, since writing is a verb, and a verb signifies action. I then realized that talking alone just wasn’t going to cut it.
So, I began considering various authors who’ve already achieved success. I noted Stephen King’s actions spoke rather eloquently for him. His written works proclaimed him as a talented novelist.
The Writer’s Formula for Success
After looking at the achievements of other popular writers, I stumbled upon a scarce-mentioned mathematical equation. Perhaps you are familiar with this formula: declaration of dreams + deeds + diligence = achievement. Declaration of dreams – deeds – diligence = zilch!Perhaps you are familiar with this formula: declaration of dreams + deeds + diligence = achievement. Declaration of dreams - deeds - diligence = zilch! Click To Tweet
Dear reader, I was flabbergasted. I had no choice but to seriously consider this equation. So, I began to add deeds (here read draft manuscripts), to my positive affirmations. You’d think that’s all I’d need to do, wouldn’t you? Just get on with writing. But, oh no! There’s got to be this perpetual undermining of my creative output.
Each time I put pen to paper (sounds grand doesn’t it? – in reality it’s fingers to keyboard), I’m forced to referee my internal opponents whilst they wrestle like precocious twins within my creative womb. Both desire pre-eminence.
The Inner-Family Feud
Meet Lady Cee, Internal Critic – pious, proud, pedantic. And this here is Carol, Creative Director – witty, intelligent, yet, sometimes lacking in confidence. She wants complete freedom to exercise her poetic license. Now, it’s obvious to me that I need both characters in order to produce a body of well-written works—but can I get them to agree? Will they work in harmony with each other? No Siree!
Scenario. Fingers fly across the keyboard trying to document creative Carol’s thoughts as fast as I can. Enter condescending critic, Lady Cee: You can’t say that! Or, oh dear, you seem to have forgotten to cross the “t’s” and dot the “i’s.”
So, I stop mid-flow and start analyzing. Surprising how the impassioned soul considers purple prose powerful or pleasing, but a cold, critical eye can calmly strip overdressed sentiments.
Now, whilst this goes on, creative Carol feels snubbed or abandoned. Nose out of joint, she suddenly bombards me with fresh ideas or vivid phrases. I make moves to follow her lead, aware from bitter experience that if I don’t capture these gems in time, they’ll sulk and slink off to the “Elusive Zone” at the back of my brain.
However, guess whose domineering voice interjects once again? You got it! My inner critic. Cut and polish my dear, she insists. Your creative urges can wait – I’ll shear most of it anyway!
Aaargh! Will no one deliver me from this creative ordeal? At this rate, I won’t get anything done.
The Peace Treaty
Now, I bet all you writing veterans, smiling away out there, would just love to know how I dealt with my intractable co-workers. Wanna know how I’ve tried to resolve this issue?
Simple! I set up a peace treaty.
You see, I remembered Roger Sperry’s theory about how the two sides of our brains operate. Bearing this in mind, I wrote and ratified the “Cee-Writes-It” peace treaty. It sets out the terms of my new writing regime.
Creative Carol is granted an unbridled opportunity to express herself. I wait until she has exhausted all her ideas, and only then do I invite the opinion of Lady Cee (aka Internal Critic). That way more work gets done, and all parties are happy (at least that’s the theory). Teamwork you see.
Phew! It’s jolly hard work this peace-keeping business. I think I’ll just chill out for a wee while—now where’s that motivational video…?
Hey – don’t look at me like that! I deserve a break!
[amazon_link asins=’0385480016′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’two drops of ink’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’98691b3b-2595-11e8-a96d-bf395e31637c’]
Carol Hind (Ladycee)
I’d describe myself as a God-seeker and recovering perfectionist. I’d also like to consider myself as a word-artist, although my husband often refers to me as a word-junkie! Now, as you’ve probably guessed, I love reading and I love words. I’m fascinated by and admire the way skilled writers use them and, I’ve long cherished a desire to join the ranks of prolific published writers, whose words are feted, followed and feasted upon by fans and word connoisseurs.
Prior to me becoming a blogger, I failed to apply myself to the joys of writing and publishing consistently, despite always declaring (to myself anyway) that writing is my passion!
Words are powerful! They have the potential to impart life or orchestrate death. And so my heart’s desire is for the ultimate creator and wordsmith to use my writing gift, infuse my words with his anointing, love, and power. I write to encourage and inspire both myself and others—to maximize our potential and live our best lives.
- SOUL SURGERY: https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB
Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
Our site is accepting submissions. Read our submission guidelines and climb aboard the Two Drops of Ink literary train – it’s on the move!
Looking for a summer read? Check out The Book Store
For those who love poetry
Follow us on Twitter
Lik us on Facebook