Reining in the Crazy

This week, the Muses have firmly established that, as writers, we’re going to be crazy. And we need to embrace it. After all, my friends, we are artists. *sticks nose in the air*

While this affords us the luxury of no pants/showers/etc., taken too far, it can make us intolerable (to ourselves, our loved ones, cowokers, grocery clerks). Therefore, we need to make sure to rein ourselves into the realm of “Quirky” rather than full-blown nutter-butter.

How does one do that?

For me, a lot of it comes from understanding “My Process.” The deeper my understanding of how I react with the junk going on in my head, the better equipped I am at making sure I stay reasonably human. Here are some of my quirks and how I rein them in:

  • There will be weeks when a new story is forming or I’m mulling over a tough revision when sleep is impossible. Tiredness is something I have to accept, and if I really need to be well-rested, there’s always Tylenol PM or margaritas.
  • Any time I’m transitioning into a new story or revision, I hit a slump. Something about changing gears freaks me out and sends me into a brief tailspin. However, the moment a game plan starts to form, I’m a-ok.
  • I can go four or five days straight where I’m busy from 4:45am until 11pm. But after that I need to rest, no matter how guilty I feel about not writing or missing a family BBQ.
  • If I don’t hit my daily writing goal…beware. The only thing I can do is try to forgive myself and start over the next day. 
  • My patience gets wonton wrapper thin when awaiting feedback…even though I pretend to be nonchalant. I make sure my family/friends/fellow Muses know that I’m on eggshells during these periods and they remind me when mole hills seem bigger than they are.
  • I take rejections very, very hard. No matter how much I prepare for them and set myself up for the disappointment, they always sting bad. However, I also bounce back eerily fast – but only after I’ve figured out what to learn from the rejection or negative feedback. Again, once a plan is forming…I’m a happy camper again.

What sort of crazy do you notice about yourself? And how do you rein it in?


I rein it in by writing in my diary--it's my best therapist. I also make fun of myself a lot.

I obsessively read something if it has even a few letters on it. And I physically relax in bookstores and libraries. I can actually feel my shoulders lowering and tension melting away just being around books.

Also, I never trim my fingernails.

Ryan, ewwwwwww on the fingernails (maybe you should hang out with V who evidently doesn't take showers)

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