The Writer’s Paradox

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Scenario #One:  Life is going well.  Really well.  Your relationships are all in great shape, you're healthy, you eat right and exercise regularly.  Your like your job, you have a great place to live, you love your pets, the sun is shining.  However, your writing sucks.  Nothing that you write works.  You can't get your latest project off the ground to save your life. You wake feeling that something is wrong and you go to bed distracted and irritated.  And so, plain and simple, you are miserable. 

Scenario #Two:  Life is hell.  Your marriage is on life support, your kids are screw-ups, you're overweight and you consider taking the elevator up four floors to your tiny apartment exercise.  You've just endured the worst winter on record and your job is about to become the latest victim of the recession.  However, your writing is going great!  You wake up energized, ready to get to work, and the words flow easily.  And because of this, you are happy as can be.

If I'm writing, all is right with the world.  And it doesn't matter what else is happening in my life, I'm still happy.  Writing well gives me energy and clarity and makes me feel I can deal with anything.  But if I'm not writing well, everything feels sludgy and gray.

Isn't this an odd paradox?

The only other thing I can liken it to is kids and their mothers.  Years ago, I read an article in which Nora Ephron discussed child rearing.  She said that if you gave kids a choice of having their mother, blissfully happy, but far away, or mom, desperately unhappy, but available in the other room, they'll take the latter option any day. Which, in my experience, is true.  Kids don't want their moms happy, they just want their moms, period.

I'm not even sure exactly how that relates to the writer's paradox but I feel it deep in my bones that it does.  I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that writing is so ingrained in me that it dictates the sheer essence of my being, moreso than anything else in my life.  Like a child depending on his mother, I rely on my writing to get me through.

Is this true for you? Or am I just a total whack job?  Please tell me it is true for you, too.

**Photo by clspeace, found via Flickr on Everystockphoto and used under Creative Commons 2.5 license.

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