Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Insecure Writer Reporting or Considering Reporting or Hiding Under Her Computer

Alex Cavanaugh Presents the IWSG Linky

Once Upon A Time

a writer stood looking toward the fabled city of El Perfecto, yearning to make the journey to the place where he knew he could write the greatest stories, find the greatest agent and sell to the greatest publisher in the world.

He thought about jumping into his Toyota, but with the price of gas and a dearth of royalties, he chose a humble handcart instead. Into that he piled his old PC and a bag of ideas; then he set off down the road, hopes high--spirits soaring.

At the bend in the road he was stopped by Grandpa Doubt who demanded a lift into the city. Like most writers he was generous of heart and loaded the old man into his cart. Off he set again, but now his progress was slow; Grandpa Doubt weighed more than he appeared to weigh.

At the stream, the writer picked his way over the slippery stones. He didn’t want to fall and land on his butt. As all writers know, a sore butt is great hinderance to their creativity. He managed not to misstep, but, when he came to the other side, Grandpa’s niece, Miss Anxiety waved him down. In her shrill voice she explained how she, too, had to reach El Perfecto before nightfall. 

So, mashing his bundle of ideas into one corner, the writer loaded her into his cart. Off they went, but now his pace was so slow that he feared he would never reach the city in time. 

At the crossroads Cousin Block held up his traffic-cop hands and demanded they stop right there. Niece Anxiety hopped out, flailing her arms and screeching that he wouldn’t like to see one of her panic attacks, so he should let them pass. Grandpa Doubt was asleep. Who needed him when Cousin Block and Niece Anxiety were going at it?

At last Cousin Block allowed them to pass, but by that time, the writer knew he’d never make El Perfecto that day. Ahead was a sign reading, “Near Perfecto 2 minutes ahead.” Reluctantly, he headed that direction and pulled to a stop at the first coffee shop he saw. Inside, were several writers, their laptop screen glowing, their lips turned into happy arcs, their fingers tap-tap-tapping the computer keyboards. 

With his laptop and his bag of ideas, the writer slipped away from Grandpa Doubt and his niece, Anxiety, and entered the shop. Maybe this was a good place to be for the time being. When he sat down and began to write, his lips turned into one of those happy arcs and words flowed across the screen. In a few hours he had a draft of a great story; it just wasn’t perfect yet. But he felt so wonderful that it didn’t matter. 

Now I’m off to load my cart and head down the road to El Perfecto. I’m hoping to reach the outskirts by nightfall and, if I hurry, maybe Grandpa Doubt and his niece won’t demand rides. If I hurry, maybe I can slip by Cousin Block . Anyone with me?


  1. Near Perfecto - hilarious! That was a great story and analogy for what we go through.

  2. I love that! I need to head down to the Near Perfecto place and ignore El Perfecto completely.

  3. Great creative post. And yes, I'm with you.

  4. Absolutely brilliant! And yes, I am totally with you.

  5. Grandpa Doubt and his family are real pieces of work. We need to hurry past them all and just say no.

    Much easier than it sounds. Unfortunately.

  6. El Perfecto, love it! It reminds me of El Dorado, that impossible paradise. To get to it, one had to scale 90 degree rocks and swim across blasting whitewater. In other words, it was impossible. You knwo what they say: progress not perfection.

  7. I think we all want to be right there with you, Lee.

  8. I'm with you!!! Although I'm ok with the café and smiling!

  9. Shoo away, Grampa Doubt & Miss Anxiety!

  10. That is so cute. I'm stalled at 'Longway from el perfecto'.

  11. OMG!!
    Well written piece!!
    WHY Doubt!!!
    We are all with you!!!
    Keep Inform

  12. Grandpa Doubt, Miss Anxiety and Cousin Block sure were burdens.

    Now to try my own run to El Perfecto, hopefully avoiding Grandpa Doubt and all the kin on his side of the family lol!

  13. My most enjoyable read this month, Lee. I thought El Perfecto was a myth, like The Lost City of Gold.

    Wonderful way to show us our process in story form.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  14. Great analogy! What a creative way to inspire all of the writers of IWSG today. :)

  15. Hey Lee,

    Once again, can I please have bonus points for commenting at gone three in the morning? Or chocolate chip cookies...

    By the time I get to El Perfecto I will wonder if you know the way to San Jose. Wo wo wo...

    Brilliant analogy. Ann Tagonist was impressed. Heck, even Penny the Jack Russell dog was bordering on impressed.

    Your ongoing starstruckest fan,


  16. I'm sitting across from you--sharing coffee and a giant fudge brownie. Oh, and look who just walked in--El Perfecto himself, Chris Hemsworth! I like it here:)


  17. Yeah, why not, I'll come with you! :)

  18. This is hysterical! I have the opposite problem. I was happy in a little one room walk-up in El Perfecto, but when I looked for better accommodations, I got lost in the woods of "Nothing's Good Enough," and I'm sure I'll never find my way back to El Perfecto again...

    Thanks so much for the awesome post! It was a great way to start my day! :-)

  19. This little fable was making me fret until we got to that coffee shop. At last a ray of hope. I like happy endings. May we all have a happy ending to our writing story.

    Special report today on the "Story Sprouts" book launch in L.A.
    Lot's of pictures in this one!

    Tossing It Out

  20. I'm with you!!! Hoping the gang doesn't catch us! :)

  21. Great piece. Absolutely I'm with you.

  22. Love it! Lesson learned: don't take passengers on for the ride. Hm. Wait, does that contribute to being anti-social? I'm so conflicted!

  23. Such a great story. I enjoyed this.


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