Our guest author for today’s Tuesday Quick-Write is Mike Jung, author of GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES with Arthur Levine Books. Mike joins us today to talk about something that seems to visit every writer from time to time at least — anxiety.
It’d be easy to make a joke about “being a writer” = “being anxious” –
it’s certainly true in my case – but I’m actually a pretty firm believer that
it’s more like “being HUMAN” = “being anxious.” At least part of the time,
There’s a great post on Alain de Botton’s Book of Life which persuasively asserts that anxiety is not a temporary sign that our lives are somehow in need of repair, but is in fact a sign that we are both human and alive. When boiled down to its essence, the process of writing is about exploring and expressing the experience of being alive, which can, of course, be a smidge difficult to remember when we sit down to actually start writing something and anxiety springs upon us and sinks its fangs into our necks like a slavering demon hound of psychic destruction.
But it’s not truly all that dramatic, is it? It might feel like a red-fangedbeast is using our carotid artery as a drinking straw, but we’re really just having an ordinary, everyday, human experience that’s completely unworthy of condemnation. Maybe we can use that as a springboard to getting started. Think about the anxiety involved in trying to craft some prose, kick around a description of how that feeling manifests itself in your mind, then apply it to something else, something that seems entirely prosaic and unchallenging to you. Then see if that juxtaposition squeezes out any more creative sparks. Here, I’ll start.
There are times when doing this feels like a recipe for certain exposure of my gigantic fraudulence. I don’t relish the thought of even one person discovering what a fake I am. If I actually manage to pull this mess together, I’m sure the first person who sees it will scream FRAUD! YOU’RE A FRAUD! That kind of thing hurts, am I right? But I guess there’s no way around it. I have no choice but to bite the bullet, silence my internal editor, and make the next pot of coffee myself. The new guy in marketing sure isn’t gonna do it…
Your turn. GO!
Today’s assignment: Have a little fun with this one & feel to share some reflections in the comments!