Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Right & The Wrong Kind of Drama

At some point last year, one of my masters professors said something so startlingly accurate about the writing process that it actually knocked the wind out of me. And for the first time, I began to see a big picture about my real life relationships in the mix with the made-up relationships I write about all day long. 

She said this: "Have you noticed... that when the work isn't going well.... when there isn't the right kind of drama on the page...that you create the wrong kind of drama off the page?"

And, obviously, my answer was YES

When I am cranking out the kind of material I want, when that shit is flowing like I like, I do not start shit in my own life. When things are not going well at my desk (probably because I am eternally uncomfortable mediocrity. Also with prolonged periods of uncertainty) I make trouble in other areas of my life. If things are going well, I question them and undo a good thing. If something is on the edge, I just go ahead and push it over. 

This is often why when I'm really on deadline, I go of the grid and sequester myself. I try to cut off contact with my real life so I don't ruin it.  

But then... I can't do that forever, right? I bet my hypothetical future children (not to mention the hypothetical future child services) would not appreciate my emotional or physical disappearance for three weeks. (or maybe more!) What to do!? Does anyone have the answers to these questions? Is there any answer that's right for more than the person who's figured it out for his or herself. Probably not. But we keep on asking. 

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