Here to Create

We are here to create not merely survive.

Writing Demons

Author Lynn Viehl posted today about the importance of balancing inspiration and practicality in writing. She brings the point to vivid life by describing the demons Necessity and Creativity, who pull her writing chariot:

“Generally Creativity gets all the credit for the success of the journey — something that would never have happened without Necessity’s determination and endurance — while Necessity takes all the criticism for every bump, pot hole and pitfall along the way — something that it knows would smother Creativity if it had to deal with it.

“They squabble, bicker and try to resist each other, but after a time they learn to travel together. They know that if we hitch only one of them to the chariot, we’re not going anywhere interesting, or we’re not going anywhere at all. Or Ego and Fear will take the lead, in which case there’s going to be a huge pile-up down the road.”

And at the end, she asks, “What’s harnessed to your chariot?”

I would have to say, right now, that Creativity and Fear are pulling my chariot, most of the time in different directions. Sometimes Fear takes the lead and Creativity is almost lost in the cloud of brimstone the demon casts in his wake. Sometimes Creativity charges forward and leaves Fear choking on dust, wondering where she went. It’s an uneven load they have to pull, as alternately thin and bloated as my writing often is, but somehow we manage to arrive together, usually with all limbs intact.

So what demons drive your creative work? Please leave a comment on Lynn’s post at Paperback Writer, and feel free to leave one here as well.

As a sidenote, I can’t believe I missed this when I was researching writers who use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but Lynn Viehl has a post on Taming the Dragon that I found useful. The comments from other writers were also insightful.

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Writer’s Strike Video

I apologize, but my posting is going to be a little light this week so I can spend as much time as possible working on my novel.

If you haven’t yet seen this video about the Writers Guild of America strike from the Daily Show writers, it’s worth watching, both for the humor and for the inside perspective.

Also, take a moment to read Joss Whedon’s response to the New York Times on the writers’ strike:

“We’re talking about story-telling, the most basic human need. Food? That’s an animal need. Shelter? That’s a luxury item that leads to social grouping, which leads directly to fancy scarves. But human awareness is all about story-telling. The selective narrative of your memory. The story of why the Sky Bully throws lightning at you. From the first, stories, even unspoken, separated us from the other, cooler beasts. And now we’re talking about the stories that define our nation’s popular culture – a huge part of its identity. These are the people that think those up. Working writers.”

(via Deep Genre)

(Edit: If you liked the video above, here’s another one from the writers of the Colbert Report.)

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