Monday, March 25, 2013

Writing inspiration from frosting and anxiety . . . .

I've never really believed in the necessity of writer's angst.

You know what I mean - the belief that a writer can't churn out the copy unless she's dreadfully unhappy. Sure, you hear all about these authors with tortured souls - and I'm sure they have their reasons - but most of the writers I know are pretty even-keeled. Funny, even.

Yes, they may get kind of cranky, but that's mostly because of the paychecks they're pulling down.

That type of angst I find completely understandable. The other kind truly mystified me ...  until last week, when my daughter was leaving on an out-of-state school trip. She and I are very close - and I'm horrendously overprotective - so when she and her dad left for the airport and the house was silent and still, I felt close to tears.

At loose ends, I grabbed a cupcake from the kitchen. I ate off all the frosting. Then I sat down listlessly at my computer, dawdled a few minutes, then started to write. And suddenly, I was able to come up with the intro to a new project I've been wanting to try  - a romance. I've never written one before, and though I had an outline, the beginning was stumping me. Having a place to start my story made me feel (a little) happier that day.

Maybe that's how the whole writer's angst thing works.

"He was gone. And I couldn't stop eating.

Grief does strange things to you, you know. It keeps you up late at night as you sweat and turn and tremble, it makes your eyes glaze over with memories,  it forces you to obsessively search your inbox for messages you know will never arrive.

And it makes you eat. A lot."

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