If there is a muse, then there must surely be demonic forces that act as staunch forces against creativity. Whereas the muse comes with serendipitous gifts of ideation, the demons are there to muddy the water and steal. These waters are where confidence goes to be run through the mud.
Who are you to think you can share the naked truth and people would pay you to do it?
Or something like that. It is not as if the words won’t flow. But there’s a dam, and the words are just behind it. I feel vaguely aware that some sort of inspiration lies behind it, but I’m stuck here in the mud where the waters once were. And the voices just swirl around me.
The time of the author is over. Like most creative professions, the money has moved on and unless you are King, Patterson or the next Tolkien, you may as well **** off and try your hand at a ‘real’ vocation.
But the words are back there. The awareness makes it all the more painful. The words are there, and they could be good. Great. Fantastic even. But the voices are over here, and they say the words are shit. And what’s here is real. Even if I could get over the dam – or open it up somehow – I would be left with a bunch of words and people would nod nicely at them and reject me with an ever-so-soft kindness. The type of kindness that numbs the heart. The patronizing kindly tone of a disappointed parent.
So I stay away from the dam. Walk away in the opposite direction even. The words are there, but maybe they just don’t matter anymore. They’ll never pay for my daughter’s braces, offset the mortgage on my small (aging) house, or even see the light of day through the cracks of the massive mountain of other words piled into a cultural heap all around us.
I look at the dam from the distance. I stare at the icon holding my word processor’s ancient tomb. I could open it, but all I’d find were embalmed remains.