Write as if No-one is Watching
…. not as if no-one will read you but as if you are alone during the actual writing process. You probably think my Muse has taken me round the bend. Most writers write in a quiet room, all alone in their writing nook, just them and the dreaded blank page. But is this really the case?
They say that when we sleep with someone there are more people in the bed than only two — figurately of course, unless your kinky self is up for that kind of thing. You have past lovers, old flirts, perhaps actors in movies that you swooned over when you were a virgin, or, God forbid, your mother-in-law telling you at least you are good in one room of the house. Just like there are more people in the bed when we sleep with someone, they say, (don’t put this perverse way of looking at things on me — I was approached once to write for the adult content industry but it seems my vast imagination doesn’t actually stretch that far) the same is true when you sit at your desk with a sheet of paper to write.
You could have an editor pointing out how that sentence just doesn’t flow the way it should, how you have lost the reach before you have really begun. You could have that one teacher who told you you might just get a passing mark in English literature by the shin of your teeth — yes I just used a cliché, I am not ashamed of it Mrs. high and mighty, studied at a very prestigious university — because of your spelling while completely and utterly overlooking your creative talent, your ability to bring other readings into the text, to analyse the heck out of the writer’s intention, the characters deeper thoughts, and the poetic genius that beats oh so subtly on every page. No, I am not bitter much and that bitterness has nothing to do with why that last sentence went on and on as if I was on a rampage.
But I give too much energy to just one person, I will go on now. You could have an old employer, an old manager, an old friend who once told you to find a real job. Whoever it is that planted that seed of doubt in your head and snuffed out that spark of yours for how ever long, that is who looks over your shoulder and judges the rhythm of your pen before it even has a chance to hit the paper.
Get some salt, fling some over each shoulder and like leaches they will shrivel up and only leave a trail of slime behind which you can easily wipe up and fling the tissue into the fire, you know, the one you have made with the spark you once again own.
Then write. In any room you feel comfortable in. Don’t think about it too much, even if you are your own worst critic, write. Write from the place you find inspiration, from where you fell in love with writing in the first place, from a time before you heard people say they could easily do what you do.
Write in your voice.
Write what feels right.
Write without a direction.
Write as if deadlines are dead.
Write what you want to read.