One of my writers once told me that she was seeing a psychiatrist who specialized in writer’s block. In hushed tones, she divulged the names of two fancy schmancy writers who were “cured.” I thought she should have head her examined, if you will.
More than a few writers have told me that they won’t go to therapy because they fear it will interfere with their creative process. This is a position I can’t understand. It may be because I’ve always felt that the “creative process” boiled down to two words: hard work. Who could mess with that?
The big issue for me was always why I pursued my career in publishing from the moment I left graduate school until now, 25 years later. Most of my friends from my MFA program were taking jobs as waiters and bartenders to fund their writing. Some were traveling the world. I believe I was the only one who rolled on a pair of pantyhose the first Monday after graduation and showed up bright and early at Simon and Schuster. Editorial assistant Lerner, at your service!
I have some dark days when I wonder where I’d be if I put the energy I put into the authors into my own writing. But what I figured out (in therapy) is that I really thrive on my work, that the structure it provides is something I need. And that the actual work I do with writers, especially editing, gives me tremendous satisfaction. It’s a fantastic experience to commune with a writer on the page. For me, temperamentally, writing full time isn’t a good option. Did I need therapy to figure this out?
What say you? Any couch potatoes out there? Has it helped or hurt your writing?