boiling point - Alisa M. Libby

I fear I will stray toward the burn of anxiety instead of the burn of romance, as I have been identifying so strongly with some of those posts this month. This is what is SO difficult about writing, and so terrifying about not writing or being stuck/uninspired: I tie so much of my sense of self-worth and self-esteem to my writing. Not my published books so much, but what I happen to be writing AT THE MOMENT. So if I'm not feeling the good, juicy muse vibe, then I feel down on myself. Which gets me worrying about my writing career, which makes it more difficult to write because of said anxiety and the pressure I put on myself, which makes me worry all the more.

Phew. It wore me out just to type all of that. Deep sigh.

So what does a writer do? I can't say "Just Relax, it will be fine" because I have certainly wanted to punch people for saying as much to me. But I will say this: feeling bad about myself as a writer, or as a semi-productive human being, has done me no good. I do not recommend this tactic. Some things that may work better, which I have tried over the five years that I have suffered spurts of writer's block (and developed bad habits along the way): visiting art museums, watching movies, watching well-written television shows, listening to very loud music that manages to push all of the bad stuff out of my head - preferably while taking a vigorous walk. Singing out loud, and badly. Oh, and writing what I want to write, regardless of whether or not it's trendy. And, just as important for me - sticking with an idea for the long haul.

Okay, I've covered the anxiety part. But since we're talking heat, I want to post something mildly naughty - but it's BBC, don't worry! This has to be the most bizarre flirtation I've seen on television in a while...and therefore, my favorite. Here we have Sherlock Holmes meeting Irene Adler, who later states that "Smart is the new sexy." I could not agree more.


  1. Thanks for the post. Glad I'm not the only one who swings with the words on the page--and I agree that sticking with an idea for the long haul is really important.

    1. Yes, I feel your pain! Why must we be this way? It's interesting - there are people who don't write, and they don't think any less of themselves...but we were built this particular way. The key is to get this feeling to light the creative fire instead of dampening it. Still an ongoing struggle.

  2. Staying busy works for me. Going from one job to the next--even if it's not a writing job. My grandmother swore the best thing for a worried mind was to get down on your knees and scrub the kitchen floor. The older I get, the more I tend to think she was right.

  3. I saw that episode with Irene Adler; it was really good. I wish they had made more episodes of that new Sherlock Holmes TV series, but at least there'll be another season.
    Going to art museums helps me too. I like going to the Art Institute here in Chicago, because there's something about being in a room full of beautiful paintings that makes me feel good. And it makes me want to write.

  4. I've never been much interested in the state of my kitchen floor, but Holly, your grandmother may have a good point!

    What I love about art museums: it's inspiring and humbling, but in a good way. I look at the detail in some of those works of art and think, "if the artist could paint every hair on the head of his goddess, then surely I can go home and work on my book without too much whining."

    And Sherlock! I LOVE! And it's very inspiring. Did you ever watch the original pilot? It's different from the aired pilot and shows just what a good revision can do. I blogged about it here:


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