Writers should take courage from Elizabeth Gilbert’s candid revelation that she scraped an entire 500-page manuscript following the success of her bestselling “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s not uncommon – the stifling anxiety that comes with any measure of success, and the palette cleansing that’s required to discover something new. If that doesn’t speak to the difficulty of writing, perhaps nothing can.
Writing is an emotional journey as well as an intellectual process. A good story, characters, technique and indomitable dedication aren’t enough. Writing requires clarity of mind and spirit. When creativity is distracted by outside voices – from the media, from our own egos or insecurities, or from the characters we’ve left behind – it takes time, patience and self-awareness to find the stillness to write well again.
Take heart, everyone who dreams of publishing. And be careful what you ask for. Every dream come true carries a price. So enjoy the cocoon of creative freedom that comes with anonymity.