March 21, 2014

Survival Guide: #8

3rd Day Attack of Doubts (Feelings of Pitiable Failure)

It is important to know these feelings will come. The deadline approaches. You’re well behind your intended schedule. Of course, you did screw up. Those “couple a’ drinks” last night with friends. And there didn’t seem to be any harm in taking a break to watch Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend, on the 9:00 movie (here you may achieve at least a sense of irony, an effective literary device you may want to incorporate into your present 3-Day opus). And then, there’s the walk in the park, the phone call to a lover, and the list goes on and on… the hill of sand proved too much. Well, despair is for artists and poets—you’re a writer.

Take three deep breaths.
Don’t punish yourself. You can do that on Tuesday.
Get back to work.
Take phone off hook.
Pull drapes.
If you feel lonely—an outcast—you are. It’s OK, you’re trying. That manuscript is now your only friend, the only thing that matters. Come to think of it, the only thing that has ever mattered.
Finish it. Let it, at least, have a life.