Virus warning: "Demon-of-Doubt"My system was attacked by a virus this morning at about 3. It kept flashing the message, "Suppose you are just a mediocre writer?" At first I just lay there stunned, hoping it would go away, but as I saw it was taking over my whole thought-processing software, I knew I had to take combative action.
This virus is highly contagious, mutant (it displays varying messages, though always on the same theme) and extremely dangerous. Left unattended, it causes a slow-down in your whole system, reducing productivity and even altering (downgrading) goals. You may already have encountered it. If and when you do, it is essential to take immediate remedial action.
The particular remedy required depends on the particularities of your system, and everyone's is unique. I try to keep my virus-protection software updated by regular reading (absorption of anti-virus memes), currently Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (which is every bit as exquisite, though in its very different way, as the recent movie it inspired, "The Hours"). However, various other sorts of anxieties had kept me from my reading lately, and the virus took that opportunity to attack. (This particular virus is always scanning for openings, which is why it is so dangerous.) The viciousness of the attack called for the strongest available anti-virus program.
What works for you may not be what works for me. For my system, poetry is most effective. It somehow calms the system and strengthens the normal thought-processing, and can even act as an accelerator. Last night I chose Yunus Emre, one of the most powerful poet-programs on my shelves, starting with the translations by Murat Yagan published in a lovely purple binding with the title, I wrapped myself in flesh and bones and I appeared as Yunus. (This, according to a very old Turkish tradition, is what Yunus told Mevlana was the summary of Mevlana's great book on the relation of God to man.) Yagan's translations are as lovely as his color choice, but almost completely impenetrable. "I pulled my head to safety, / Into the coat of Kanaat, / I tailored shirt of Melamet; / The wise one who can wear should come" is not exactly crystal clear even with footnotes, though I like the definition of kanaat: "contentment, knowing that one has rather than doesn't have." Still, it was effective, and the effect was strengthened when I applied another version of the same program, the translation of Yunus by S�ha Faiz, collected as The City of the Heart.
I'd welcome reports from others on virus-protections against "Demon-of-Doubt" that you've found effective.