For many years, (how many? unknown) Middlebrow has been trying to get me to just fucking relax about the whole writer/writing thing.
This campaign was revived this morning when, packing up a box of manuscripts that I had, somehow, misguidedly, agreed to judge, I told him, "I'm going to think of myself as someone who likes to writer, rather than as a writer."
I believe he sighed heavily before saying, "You have a book out for fuck's sake." (I may have invented his use of the F word). "In any case, you should just relax and write when you want to write. Don't stress out about it."
This also brings to mind a conversation about a friend who became an EMT. We agreed that he would be a good caretaker in the time of emergency because he seems so even keeled and calm. Like Middlebrow. Though we agreed that neither of us could be EMTs because we couldn't do the simplest tasks, like insert an IV.
It seems to me I know people who are stress cases (me) and people who are chill (MB, our friend the EMT). We also have another friend, a writer whose writing we admire, and we recently talked about her ability to write, have children, be productive, make dinner, basically rule the world (Yes, Nik, it's you). I'm not sure how she does it, but it seems to involve not stressing out about any one thing.
So I need some of this non-stress mojo. Or does one have to care more than I do? Yes, I want to finish this novel, but I also want to hang out, go to the pool, see movies, and surf the internets.
But then I think about the novel, I think about writing the novel, or another book or whatever and my heart starts to palpitate.
What's a girl who likes writing to do?