Nothing is more depressing about hanging out with other writers on social media than the #amwriting hashtag. Kind of like “#AmSpendingMillionsofDollars” or #AmInTahiti”, the #amwriting” hashtag doesn’t feel good if you’re not writing.
The thing about a life spent chasing the act of creating something – a painting, a crochet throw, a book – is that sometimes you feel like you’re awesome at it and sometimes you think you stink. Years of experience don’t do a whole lot to change that dynamic. I recently read an interview that George R.R. Martin (he of Game of Thrones fame) conducted with the prolific Stephen King. He asked, “You don’t ever have a day when you sit down there and it’s like constipation – you write a sentence and you hate the sentence, and you check your email and you wonder if you had any talent after all and maybe you should have been a plumber? Don’t you have days like that?” (For the record, King said no. Which confirms my suspicions that he is part robot or Cujo or something).
So the man who has published an estimated nearly two million words (for context, my book was 60,000 words) which has launched one of the most successful and beloved television series of all time sometimes feels ick. So if he still has days when he thinks he should have been a plumber, what hope is there for the rest of us feeling bad when we see the #amwriting hashtag?
Despite this, the days it’s going well it’s kind of magical. I’ve been having some of those days lately. I’ve been steadily keeping my Wednesday writing dates, which steadies me in a rhythm, and I’ve been feeling good in my wonderful office where every single thing was placed there to inspire me. There are my hearts in a case of glass (which reminds me of so many wonderful fairy tales), my wax seal with my initial M, which I never use but which makes me feel like I might send coded messages on parchment at any minute, my mercury glass hurricane lantern full of more pens than I’ll ever need, my intriguing view from inside the clock at the Musee d’Orsay and my beloved desk. And, of course, one of my favorite Wonder Woman power t-shirts and my blood-red Renaissance ring, which I have told myself is imbued with special magical powers of creation (is it? Maybe not. But ssshhh, don’t let me hear that. It’s just a psychological trick I play on myself).
The best part? Just to my left is a stack of words I wrote. The happiest thing of all.