The Hour of the Wolf

I've been writing for sixteen years, but it's only been in the last three that I've decided to take it really seriously (by which I mean, writing ambitiously, with no guarantee of an audience or even generous feedback, as is the case in fan fiction). So, I'm still a very young writer. I haven't experienced serious writer's block, thank goodness (though I remember a couple of times when my deadline-awaiting fan fiction stories didn't come out easily).

Today, however, I encountered a portion of it. Erin and I went down to the Chapters in South Kitchener, and I sat with my Starbucks vanilla creme and stared at a blank page for over fifteen minutes, growing progressively more frustrated by the minute.

Fortunately, Erin asked me what was wrong and suggested that I stroll around the children's book section for a bit. It's what all of the "manuals" tell you to do: take a walk, read a book (don't watch television; that's dangerously addictive) or do something productive that stimulates the creature juices. Free write (just put pen to paper and write about anything that's not connected to your story). The point is: don't get yourself tied up in knots over how your story isn't going well, and it's all a load of crap anyway and why the heck are you deluding yourself into thinking that you could be anything more than a hack writer and you're wasting ink and...

On Babylon 5 there's a wonderful moment where Ivonava tells a story about her father describing for her the hour of the wolf. It's that hour in the middle of the night when you wake up, circled by your worries the way a fallen deer is circled by wolves after being brought down in a forest. And you know that you only need to relax to get to sleep, but the worries keep gnawing at you, getting under your skin, whispering in your ear, and the time keeps ticking onward, and it's four hours to morning, and you're going to be a wreck the next day if you don't GET TO SLEEP!

Sometimes writing is like that. Fortunately, I haven't had writing blocks that bad. Yet. It's only a matter of time. But when that time comes, I'll be prepared. Just let my head rule, and tell myself to relax. In the end, one bad day doesn't matter.

Well, that's what the head tells you. As you know, the heart is a different organ altogether.

The Young City focuses on the legendary buried river called Taddle Creek. Garrison Creek is the other river that lies buried beneath the streets of old town Toronto. There's a move to resurrect it as well. Click here for more information.

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