Monday, February 2, 2015

Writing 101: Are You Too Emotionally Attached?

It takes a writer to create a horror story, because writers know horror. If your computer has ever imploded and erased your files, if you've ever lost that chapter and don't know where it went, if you've ever been held hostage by a crazy woman and was forced to burn a manuscript, then you know how to answer this question: are you too emotionally attached?


$&!/ Happens

I really don't care who you are or what your process is. If you write long enough, at some point something is going to happen. There will be a random bolt of lightning, a system wide crash, a cat that jumps on the keyboard and somehow manages to reset the hard drive in 10 seconds when you couldn't figure out how to do it in three hours while reading the user's manual. You will, no matter what, lose some of your writing. You may lose a few pages, an entire chapter, or even a whole manuscript. It's going to happen no matter how careful you are. And when it does, you'll find out pretty quickly whether or not you're too emotionally attached. Since you're a writer, you probably are. But you can't be, because the world is full of cats and lightning.

After all, you never know when you'll be taken hostage by some psycho and be forced to destroy the only copy of your manuscript. You know it can happen. That's why you can never get too emotionally attached. Into every writer's life, a bad review will fall. A snarky comment will be made. Disappointment will follow. And if you're too emotional about it, it's just going to be that much harder to write the next book.

Remember that: there is always another book. Your job is to create. To pour yourself into every tale, to give it all you've got. Then, you've got to let it go completely. You've got to move into the next, and devote yourself to it. Get emotional about every book...but then, stop.

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