A Writer’s Power

Julia talks in Week 2 about writers and power. She says “It is all too easy for the artist to allow the shape of our career to be dictated to us by others. We can so easily wait to be chosen. Such passivity invites despair.”

I see a little of that in my life right now. Last week, I was in a holding pattern, holding my breath, putting a hold on new writing projects, because I was waiting to see what work would be bought. Waiting to decide what to work on. Waiting for permission to write the article or the book or the sequel the way other people thought it should go. If they decided they wanted my work.

In some ways, it makes sense. A magazine will want to shape a story for their readers, so why should I write the story now only to have to change it later?

And why should I get back to Gypsy when the agent mentioned a sequel to Sugar Shack? If I wait and put my novelist energy into that, maybe I can get a two-book contract.

So I was seduced far too cheaply, with not even promises, just possible, tentative commitments. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, maybe I just needed a break. Whatever’s at the bottom of my writingless last few days (well, except for morning pages, I did those every day without fail last week), it’s time to get back to work, to plot my own course, to take my power back.

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