I heard you were starting an advice column and I thought you might do the trick. You see? I am a fantasy writer! But, I am having a problem these days. I haven’t been able to write anything of substance or interest lately. I am confounded every time I sit in front of my keyboard. I think of those who came before me. I think of those who might read it when I am done. I think that I am not enough. So, I sit there and stare at the blinking cursor on my screen.
In essence, I choke. I don’t know what to do about this problem. I’ve had it ever since I got a harsh critique from my workshop. Their voices fill my head: no one would want to read this or this will never sell. One of them even fell asleep! How can I ever kick them out of my head?
Can’t Get Those Damn People Out of My Office (they/ them)
I can see that you are a fellow worker of the mysteries of magic. I am happy to see that you have found my new site and written to me. I am sorry to hear of your pesky problem. People are the worst pests there are. I swear! Once you invite them in, they never leave. You ask them to tea and they stay for two weeks. And there is no peace or solitude to be had. And that is what troubles you: you have lost your solitude. You may be alone in person, but they have attached themselves to you in spirit.
You need to do a good ritual cleansing. I always find that burning a brightly scented candles, a citrus such as lemon works well for this, or some incense helps to reset my spiritual solitude. Dark spirits don’t like it when I chant along and cleanse the house with my selenite wand, either. Though, these particular pests sound like lesser evil, rather than evil with a capital E. So, I would stick to a candle or incense and some light meditation before going on to the bigger and more challenging cleanses.
I became a wizard, not to impress people with my arcane powers or political intrigue. And I believe you did not become a wizard for such purposes, either. Instead, you have lost sight of why you became a practitioner that seeks the mysteries of our known universe. Who are you practicing your magical arts for? This critical audience who doesn’t understand rock from rock salt? Or for yourself?
Once you get to the heart of why you practice magic, then you will understand that you do not need to have an audience in your study. It is rather unnerving discovering the mysteries of the universe when one is watched by others. (I spent a semester rotation teaching a major University. I should know). (I prefer the solitude of my Tower).
So, Letter Writer, I say to you! Take back your Tower! Kick those evil spirits out of your mind. And practice your arts in blessed solitude.
Now go away and leave me alone — so I can do the same.