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.