I’m a writer who isn’t writing.
I don’t know what’s going on in my life right now. My mind is going in a zillion directions. What I most want is to be a writer… But I keep ending up in wonderful other adventures – I’m having such great dates, I started a business (with more in the works), I got a motorcycle, I keep chasing shiny pretty things.
When I do sit down to write, I have about a dozen writing projects started (a novel – maybe two – a play, 3-4 stories, a poem, a series of collaborations). My creative life is like a dropped garden hose spewing everywhere. What if I have a heart attack right now and nothing is done? What’s important? What should I be working on? Have you seen my keys?
–Aquarius Loves Finishing
Oh, inspiration. Those who want it, can’t get a drop, those who’ve got it, are drowning.
Pisces, sign of inspiration-flood, has its prints all over your birth chart.* Good thing, too. Dreamy Pisces is absolutely necessary for visionary writing. Pisces, champion fictioneer, allows the writer to immerse into characters and worlds and forget about the boring reality of day-jobs and landlords.
We’ll call this version, “Happy Pisces.”
A truckload of Pisces can have its risks, though. Pisces is responsible for the artist stereotype (KURT COBAIN**, GUYS)–heroin needle in one arm, paintbrush in a fist. Cute, until you have to vacuum around the prostrate bodies or, like, collect rent. We can call this “Unhappy Pisces.”
It sounds to me, ALF, like you’re currently suffering from a midrange condition, “Mildly Dismayed Pisces.” Symptoms of MDP include, but are not limited to, distraction, abundant dreams paired with abundant self-doubt, a craving to make art but not getting butt to chair. Under MDP, it becomes far easier to help others than to pursue one’s own dreams. Depending on your line of work, this may be why the business is going well while the writing is struggling.
But there’s hope! Let’s you and me figure out how to turn that frown upside down.
How to Make Pisces Smile
1. The “Just Say No” campaign is not a model for your (writing) life. Pisces, most compassionate of signs, is super-sensitive. When you yell at Pisces (“Focus, lazybones!”), it curls up into a weepy ball of guilt. At that point your best bet is to become Mother Theresa (or throw yourself into your business), because the only way to make Pisces feel its sins have been cleansed is by helping others. Better yet, be kind from the start. Thank your brain for its childlike dreaminess. Remind it how it likes to get lost in a creative project. Let it know that the world needs dreamers. Ditch the internet (addiction risk). Drop the clock (too much reality). Hand Pisces a blank-paged notebook, take it somewhere peaceful and let that imagination go.
2. Be process-oriented. Instead of predicting your own cardiac demise, focus on the here-and-now. What do you love about writing? Whatever it is, notice yourself enjoying it. So long as you’re enjoying immersion, you’ll be able to make a (socially acceptable) addiction out of it. Then, you’re good to go.
3. Embrace grubby imperfection. Pisces has a direct line to the god/s. Holy inspiration flows and the Pulitzer seems at hand. Only, when proverbial pen hits paper, what comes out is, well, crap—right? Or far enough from the holy word, it might as well be. I’d interpret your distractedness as grief. Check your standards. My guess is they’re absurdly high. Knock ‘em down by half, then by half again. Let yourself feel sad about this. YOU WILL NEVER CATCH THE DREAM AND PIN ITS WINGS TO A BOARD. Even if it could be done, you, ALF, are too tender-hearted to impale anything. Instead, write the story inspired by the perfect story. Let it be inadequate, mediocre, whatever. It doesn’t even matter. What matters is letting others in on your dream. Readers, fellow Pisceans, are hungry for any story they can fall into and get lost. Their imaginations will fill in the gaps.
4. Find a good editor. A Piscean artist friend, Kate, once said to me, “Luke, you know why Kurt Cobain killed himself? He hung out with assholes.” ALF, don’t hang out with assholes. You are a dreamer, so acquire a good dream-sifter. Piscean artists are best off when they let more grounded type handle the nitty-gritty details, which in a writer’s case includes later stages of revision. As soon as you get a first draft done, bring one (or several) trusted others in to help pull the vision to the surface. There is no door prize for doing everything by yourself.
Finally, last word, trust creative cycles. If it doesn’t happen for you now, let go and relax into this moment of your life. If you aren’t usually this distracted it may be the result of a Pisces-emphasizing transit, Neptune conjunct Mercury, which increases imagination, but decreases focus. Go with the flow and expect your mind-mojo to return in February.
*aka planets in Pisces, aspects from Neptune to personal planets and/or planets in the 12th house.
**OMG, you do not even want to know how much Pisces energy this guy had going on.
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