Writing gets harder, not easier. It’s all battling demons, you know. The first book was such an easy one, then Blue was easy, too, looking back. I might have thrown away one chapter for every ten. Now it’s the opposite. I throw away five to ten chapters for every one that makes it into a book. The whole thing is melodrama from beginning to end.
It takes years now to write a single chapter worth publishing. It’s all because of the voices in my head, the voices that say it’s not clear enough or funny enough; or the condemning voices that tell me I’m only acting, I’m only acting authentic but not really being authentic. It takes so long to get past those voices.
But I realized something today, wrestling demons. I realized I’ve made the resistance external. I made the resistance something out there that I’m having to fight, like God’s rooster in a cage fight. But it’s not external, is it? It’s internal. I mean I am the offense and the defense both. I’m playing this game against myself. I am the one speaking that crap into my head as I type. There’s nobody else in the room. Perhaps Satan perches on my shoulder, but I doubt it. I think it’s more that he speaks through my own voice, the voice I have control of and I have to agree with him to listen.
And why is it that I resist myself, why do I externalize the resistance and fabricate enemies? All so I can make excuses. All so I can get out of the work, so I can dramatize a battle and have an excuse not to try, not to put forward something that isn’t excellent, something that reveals I’m not God’s gift to literature.
What a terrifying and freeing truth. I am in control of the offense and the defense.