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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Downtime

The downtime between finishing a project and starting a new one seems interminable, even if it's only a few days or weeks. The anxiety of not knowing what I'm going to work on next is high and distressing. The fear that I can't write anymore is the most distressing part. So I feel compelled to get to work on something--anything--to erase that fear.

Why is writing so important to me? Is it bound up with my identity, my self-worth--sense of failure if I don't write? Is the very act of writing thrilling, satisfying, fulfilling? Is the thought of the finished product what drives me? Is it the thought of fame and/or fortune? Is it some psychological search for meaning, a kind of internal/external journey toward self-discovery? Is it the execution and fulfillment of a plan that gives meaning to writing? Is it the expression of myself and my beliefs through my characters that make writing so valuable? Is it the illusion of living a different life for a while that gives writing its appeal? Is it the sense of discovery that mesmerizes me?

I could probably answer 'yes' to all those questions. Writing is living a dream, and dreaming is one of the most satisfying things a person can do. And, if that is so, then getting published is really secondary to the pleasure of writing.
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