We all know that creativity and inspiration comes and goes in waves. Sometimes the Muse hangs out with you, and sometimes she disappears for weeks, months, maybe even years, at a time.
But does quality come and go in waves as well? I find that sometimes I get this creative streak where my writing is good (at least, I think it is). But sometimes I have these periods when I feel like everything I write just stinks. It’s possible that I feel that way because other circumstances in my life have me stressed out and feeling particularly sensitive and vulnerable.
Or, maybe the other circumstances have truly affected my ability to think creatively and so everything I produce truly is crap.
Does this happen to you? If so, what do you do about it? Is there really anything you can do about it?
I decided that the only thing I can do about it—aside from winning the lottery and quitting my job—is to just write. Because, good or bad, at least it’s something. I can always fix it, in whatever way it needs fixing, later on.
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m in one of those phases right now. I’m working on several projects simultaneously, and I feel like they all suck. But I’ve been forcing myself not to think about it. Just write, I tell myself. Just write, and you’ll have something to work with.
The fear, of course, is that even later on it will be crap. That it will be unfixable. Well, there’s always that possibility, but if I write three crappy stories, maybe two can be salvaged. I’d be happy even with one. It’s one more than I had before. There’s also the possibility that they will all suck, but that’s a chance that we all take all the time, isn’t it? That’s okay, too. It keeps us on our toes.
I’m hoping that the things that are stressing me out in my life work themselves out, or at least settle down to a point where I can realign my focus on my writing. Until then, I’ll just keep writing crap and clean it up later.