Monday, March 22, 2010
The Importance of Being Cheerful
At times, writing is pure bliss. It moves you, stirs you, touches you to the very core. Ideas flow, the writing just happens, and the results are terrific. At other times, of course, it's hard to find an idea, no words will come, and whatever you get down on the page is not worth the trouble of reading it. It's during those times that we have to remember to be cheerful.
When I write, I can be any number of persons. I can assume the identity of any of my characters, or the prospective Reader, or myself at any of many ages or stages of my life. When the writing gets tough, however, my inner baboon comes out. I prance around, posturing, beating my chest, proclaiming loudly that I am better than this, that my writing should never suffer the doldrums. My primitive instincts come out and I'm not a joy to be around.
I realize that writing is 99% unfathomable process and at least 1% grace. I have to hold on to that one percent. I have to remember to act with grace under pressure. I have to let go of my inner baboon and try my very best to act in a dignified and pleasant manner. It's best to approach my work with a can-do attitude. I should be cheerful, and approach my work in a cheerful manner, even if I don't feel like it.
Putting on a happy face ultimately helps us find the joy within us, which can only help us as we press on through the ups and downs of the writing process.