So, it is 8 pm. The deadline for a contest has just passed, and when I say just, I mean five minutes ago. I intended to send something in, something that was going to knock the socks off everyone, but of course I didn’t. I didn’t because while it sounded like a good idea to sign up for a contest where you are handed a set of characters and a situation and are expected to turn in a play in 24 hours, in reality the 24 hours translates to about 6. Even if I wrote feverishly, all I would end up with would be a shitty first draft (I thank Anne Lamott for that every time) and who wants to read that? Perhaps another reason I can’t just go ahead and send half-assed things out in the world is because I have tried it. Some have gotten rejected–lesson learned. Others got published–*cringe* Now there are things out there in the world that will forever be associated with me and some part of my brain will never let me forget them. Like bad fashion moments. Or the guy you never want to admit you were head over heels for (Ugh for Ughly).
So, I let my inner critic have full reign. We had tumultuous ups and downs. We fought. We made up. But right now, as I watch that 8:00 pm deadline in my rear-view mirror, I’m thinking this is not my fault. Maybe what I was working on was good enough. Maybe I didn’t have to flush hours worth of effort down the trash. Yeah, you know what.
You, there…Yes you. Sitting nicely and innocently on that red velvet couch wearing that stupid silk smoking jacket (who even wears those anymore?)..this is your fault. All you. You are pissing me off, and here is why:
- You never apologized the last time we had this conversation. I am still mad about it.
- You have a pre-emptive strike policy. We all know how those work out.
- Every time I listen to you, I have performance anxiety for months.
- You think you know everything about everything. What was the last thing you wrote?
- You look like a combination of Hugh Hefner and Elliot Gould. Not sexy.
- You are just jealous of my relationship with the Muse. Yes, I see the way you look at us.
- You have never, ever, ever been happy with anything I have ever done. Ever.
- Your smug smile. Yes. That one.
- I’m pretty sure you are out there saying nice things to other writers. Don’t think I don’t know you.
- You made me write a top ten list, and now I think I might be addicted.