The Inner Dragon

The hardest part of the writing life isn’t about digging up a worthy story, finding time to write, polishing your prose until it shines or even, these days, publishing. That stuff is hard, sure. (And kind of fun if you’re that type.) No, I think the hardest part is the inner stuff. Motivation. Attitude. Clarity.

These inner states are, in the writing life, assailed by your own personal dragon. He loves you, honestly he does. He’s a st-george-and-the-dragonpart of you, after all. But that doesn’t mean he’s right all the time, or even at all. In any case he’s here to stay.

I don’t have too much advice here–like most authors, I slog through that stuff the best I can. No Buddha-like moments of now-I-get-it, or sage platitudes of how to Really Get It.

The best I can do is list some of the things I’ve been dealing with in last week. I assure you, none of this is new or temporary. It’s perennial. Purpose here, besides getting it off my chest, is to assure some of you who are new in the field that you’ve got company when the inner dragon breathes fire.

My head last week:

1. Re-planning my novel, which had already been planned, but which, from feedback, I learned was not quite working. Inner dragon: Why didn’t you do it right the first time?

2. The upcoming scenes are the dreaded middle section. Do I have  enough there there? Inner dragon: Nope

3. Too much time on characterization and not enough on plot? Inner D: You’ve written eleven novels and you Still don’t know the answer?!

3. The current novel is out there and getting great reviews. Inner D: Yeah, and some snide and self-righteous ones, too. Whole sentences of which you’ve memorized. Me: So? Inner D: Just sayin’.

4. Cleaned my office. Stacks of paper, notes, research, tutorials, newspaper clippings, recipes, to-do lists. Inner D: There went Another couple hours when you weren’t writing!

5. I hold reading events and even my friends don’t show up. Wah! Inner D: Oh please. You think you’re the only busy one? And, how much time do you spend on friendships anyway? Me: But I’m supposed to write! Inner D: *Rolls big yellow eyes.*

6. Planted 75 bulbs in the garden. Inner D: Don’t even Look at me!

7. Someone told me that they can hardly wait to get my book at the library. Inner D: They said that to be mean. Me: But it’s Sort of encouraging, isn’t it? Inner D: Nope.

8. My numbers really sucked for over five hours on Amazon today. Inner D: What can you expect? And why are you wasting time hovering over numbers when you should be Getting Pages? Me: You are crass and uncaring. Inner D: It’s what dragons are for.

9. I haven’t heard from my agent in quite a while. . . Inner D: And we all know what That means. Me: Silence.

10. Well at least I got the bulbs planted. It will be a glorious spring! Inner D: Have you thought about Horticulture for a profession?

I know next week will be better. Inner D: Censored.



8 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    It’s clear to me now you are terminally human : )
    Tell inner

  2. Paul Genesse says:

    Great post, and so true. I wish my Inner D would shut up sometimes. I think mine might swear more than yours, but I bet you censored more that you let on. (wink)

  3. Hello Kay.
    I do understand all about the inner Dragon! All we writers have one. I think that you are lucky to have an agent! I have self-published 7 books on Amazon and I am nowhere near breaking even on costs,(Many thousands of £’s) yet I still write, driven by the need to create something new. I would love to have someone ‘out there’ who could push my books and promote them. They all have good reviews. but who the Hell knows that I exist? At least you have somebody!
    Have a peep at the two links if you have the time. Is my Indie ref to my works.

    AND this is an interview with my local paper. It will give you an insight into what makes me tick! You can see by the photo that I am no spring chicken and I certainly am not writing for the money.

    So there you are Kay. A lonely voice in the wilderness who has managed to sell books as far as Tasmania & New Zealand, but not many and not enough!
    All the best, Barry.

  4. Walt Socha says:

    Me: Well, at least I got the leaves raked and the paint touched up on the house today.
    Inner Dragon/Demon: And how many $#@! words did you write?

  5. Kay says:

    No, I didn’t censor, Paul. *I’m* the one who swears, my dragon just delicately cuts me off at the knees.

  6. Kay says:

    Oh, you set yourself up for that one, Walt!

  7. Pam Garlick says:

    “Inner Dragon.” Interesting way to look at it. Mine is off its meds so its been particularly active – in a negative way. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Loved your post! How true the “inner dragon” voice! Thanks for sharing~

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