Falling in love with your writing can be as inspiring, and as delusional, as falling in love with a person,.
These shifting perceptions aren’t just exclusive to writers.
In his post The Psychology of Creativity – Part VI: Curing Writer’s Block, David Sheppard writes about “author’s glow.” Here is an excerpt:
In her book The Writing Life, Annie Dillard puts the author’s feelings toward her own work in perspective:
“Another luxury for an idle imagination is the writer’s own feeling about the work. There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality.
“The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.”
A little later in the same work she says again:
“This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else.”
Authors fall in love with their work. A friend of mine has termed this the “author’s glow.” The author’s love for his own work can lead to a critical misjudging of it.
Inspiration sweeps over us like an ocean wave, but all that gets to the page is little bits of life’s debris like sifted sand.
We have to learn to express inspiration in words that trigger a similar emotional experience in the reader. This is the novelsmith’s burden.
David Sheppard is author of Novelsmithing: The Structural Foundation Of Plot, Character, And Narration.
Photo: Explored! #1 by Stephen Poff
Related site: The Inner Writer