It occurred to me last night that most, if not all, writers fret about their content and I began to wonder about the whole process of worry and uncertainty.
Do natural worriers make good writers? Do we excel at creativity because our brains are always active, imagining events that range from statistically probable to those that will never happen even in the pages of a bad novel?
My mind, sadly, seems to be on a constant drive towards pessimism. Some days, when my fret gland is active, my Muse goes into overdrive, conjuring up a series of ‘what-if’ scenarios that leave me questioning my sanity.
For example; I can be driving past a police car and my Muse will whisper; ‘What if they decide to pull you over? What if some of the flour that you bought last week leaked onto the carpet? They might think you’re a dealer and arrest you. You could end up in a holding cell with a vicious biker gang that’s out to make a headline. They could kill you. By the time the police realise it’s only flour you could have lost an eye, or a limb. And then what would happen to your writing?’
This is the point where I look my Muse directly in the eye and say;
‘Seriously – WTF?’
She will calm down and take her meds as prescribed and become lucid for a time, but then, without warning;
‘You know how you think you turned the gas cooker off, but you’re not sure because you might be remembering turning it off yesterday and only think that you did it this morning, but you might really have forgotten and when you get home and you turn on a light, it could set off a spark and blow up the whole house?’
Me; FFS – The house is all-electric.
Muse; Oh. I worry too much, don’t I? I think I will take a tablet.
Me; Thank you. Please do.
Muse; *Pauses with the tablet close to her mouth* ‘But did you ever wonder about Lenticular clouds – you know, the ones that look like flying saucers? What it they really were flying saucers in stealth mode and they were watching us? And what if flying saucers weren’t aliens but visitors from our future and they want to know why it all went wrong so that they could guide us to a better tomorrow?’
Me; Now, look…
Muse; I know. I’m sorry. I’ll take that tablet now.
Me; No, no. *searches for a pen* Seriously, that last one is a great idea – tell me it again so that I can write it down. It could become a novel – a series, even. Maybe Hollywood will pounce on it and offer me millions.
Muse; *swallows tablet* Hmm? Sorry, what idea?
So, is your mind naturally over-active? Do you, as a writer, constantly ponder the (often far-reaching) consequences of your actions? Does your Muse deliver a stream of possible and impossible scenarios – one of which might be a gem of a story?
For the sake of my sanity, I hope it does.
For your sanity, I hope it doesn’t.
Please let me know if I’m alone in this.
If I am, I will seek immediate help from the family of accupuncturist hedgehogs that live in the fairies nest at the bottom of my garden…