When The Abyss Stares Back

I found this tweet below the other day that I simply had to share:

Someone soon commented: “It works both ways. ‘I’m a plumber, but I didn’t work today. The pipes weren’t speaking to me.’”

I well know how on-point that analogy is, especially as a writer without the added benefit of deadlines.

While writers are more often than not passionate about writing, how is it we so easily succumb to the temptation to set it all aside due to “lack of inspiration?”

I do this all the time, and I don’t have an answer. If I were to guess, though, part of it is our love/hate relationship to writing. It’s one of the few skills out there that no matter how much we study and improve the craft, success or failure is entirely dependent on the subjective opinions of others. Including ourselves.

We are also an emotional lot, with extreme ups and downs. Sometimes we love what we write, and want to share it with everyone, and other days we want to burn that same story or article in the fireplace so no one will see how much we suck.

When we enter that “I suck” phase, writing becomes near impossible, and we lose all motivation to fight through it. It becomes a viscous downward spiral, and that blank page and blinking cursor morphs into a dark abyss that stares back. Waiting to devour.

I wrote the above this morning, and I have to admit I’m impressed at how I started with something humorous and ended up with something rather dark. Am I sorry? Nope, because that was my inspiration. I at least wrote something, so I can happily say I stuck my tongue out at the “I suck Abyss” and survived.


A.L. Marquardt

Writer, photographer, wife and mother. Everything else is mere detail.

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