In Search of Fun with Dorkus Maximus

By guest blogger Valeka Cruz

I had a moment last week, while working on a course assignment for the Fear of Writing Online Course, that I felt like I had lost my writing mojo. I felt lost and a little confused by this happening.

I had been doing great in the course, enjoying and learning from each assignment, taking Milli’s teachings and wisdom to heart when I was suddenly (and very abruptly) stopped in my tracks. I was puzzled, to say the least.

Very early on in the course, Milli recommends that her students create and name their “inner doggie.” The doggie represents the free and fun nature of our writing. It was something for us as students to refer back to during those moments where we were stuck or not having fun.

My sidekick is named Dorkus Maximus. I named him that because I can be a dork and most of the time, I can be a very BIG dork. During my dorkier moments, I am usually having fun and being goofy.

Well, Dorkus Maximus had been missing from the moment I started this particular writing assignment. I’m not sure where he ran off to or why but the fun had NOT been in my writing during the days that I was trying to create a story.

I emailed Milli and she helped me to try to figure out where Dorkus had gone. And then, it happened. She made the most wonderful suggestion. She asked me to write a journal entry to Dorkus Maximus and ask him where the heck he was and why he had gone *poof*.

It had never occurred to me to do that. At first, I will admit, I was a wee bit skeptical but thought that it was worth a shot and I just KNEW that Milli wouldn’t steer me wrong.

Once I started writing to him, I realized what had happened. My Inner Editor took over the piece I was working on and that chased Dorkus Maximus away (or at least kenneled him to keep him from having fun).

The Inner Editor was allowing the work to be done but poo-pooed ideas if they weren’t good enough. The IE was making it harder for me to create because I ended up going backwards and reworking things to make it happy but all the while, Dorkus was suffering. My IE seemed to think that if I was having fun, I couldn’t possibly be working.

Creativity should be fun and freeing. Without that, it becomes mundane and a chore. And that is the LAST thing that I want for my writing or any of my other creative endeavors.

I drank chocolate milk out of my favorite Wonder Woman glass in hopes that it would encourage Dorkus Maximus to break free of his kennel so that he could run rampant on my computer screen.

I felt him stirring but he hadn’t fully appeared. I added some Motown music and dancing at my desk to see if that would bring him out in the open. That seemed to do the trick!

He finally chased off the mean Inner Editor and started doing a goofy dance across my fingertips as I wrote a fun, energized story with absolutely no struggle.

The trick was for me to have fun with writing and kick all of the seriousness aside. I let my inner goofball out to play and got great results!

Now, anytime I feel like I’m stuck or don’t feel “inspired”, I let Dorkus Maximus out for a romp. He might choose to go outside to blow bubbles or color in a coloring book. He may want to jump rope or chase my other doggies around the house. Dorkus has even been known to finger paint!

Whatever he wants to do that will bring the fun to my writing is what I need to do. The happier Dorkus Maximus is, the better my writing is. It’s a win-win situation!


Valeka Cruz

Valeka & Karlee

Valeka Cruz (@runningonheavy) is a freelance writer and blogger living happily in Austin Texas with her three fur babies. Her weekly blog, Running On Heavy, provides health and wellness motivation along with life lessons. She loves chocolate, hiking, laughing, hot tea and, especially, writing (not necessarily in that order depending on what kind of a day it is).

11 Responses to In Search of Fun with Dorkus Maximus
  1. Lois
    November 2, 2012 | 9:20 AM

    Your inner doggie sounds like a real character, and that’s the point, isn’t it? I hope you let him out to romp and play often, and keep that mean inner editor locked up! 🙂


    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      November 8, 2012 | 9:00 AM

      Dorkus is TONS of fun! The inner editor has been locked away, especially during NaNoWriMo!

      • Lois
        November 8, 2012 | 9:16 AM

        So has mine! 😀

        (What’s your username on Nano? I’d love to add you!)

  2. Carole
    Twitter: cjtreggett
    November 2, 2012 | 12:19 PM

    Dorkus Maximus! I love this, Valeka 🙂

    I can relate oh-so-strongly to what you share in this well-written piece. I also try and do other ‘funner’ creative things to get my inner editor to ‘chill’, like photography, quilting, and coloring (there are tons of free printable coloring pages for adults on the Internet).

    Don’t forget to help Dorkus bake up some more yummy cookies while you have the Motown mojo playing too!

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      November 8, 2012 | 9:03 AM

      So glad you enjoyed my post, Carole!

      I did realize that I wasn’t giving Dorkus any “fun time” and that did lead to the vicious Inner Editor rearing her head. BUT…I’ve got it under control now with equal doses of fun and work throughout my day. It has helped a LOT!

      P.S – I looooooove to color! One of my favorite stress relievers!

  3. Annie Neugebauer
    Twitter: AnnieNeugebauer
    November 5, 2012 | 11:21 AM

    I *love* that you named your inner doggie Dorkus Maximus. That is just adorable. And I’m so glad you found him again. This is a very nice reminder to have fun. =)

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      November 8, 2012 | 9:21 AM

      Thanks, Annie! Dorkus Maximus missed me just as much as I missed him 🙂

  4. Estrella Azul
    November 7, 2012 | 5:22 AM

    That definitely is a win-win situation, I am so glad to read you managed to bring Dorkus Maximus back 🙂
    And I can attest to it, Milli’s advice will never steer you wrong!

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      November 8, 2012 | 9:27 AM

      I’m glad I was able to bring him back, too! I need to remember not to neglect him anymore!

      Milli’s advice is AMAZING! She knows her stuff <3

  5. Charlotte Rains Dixon
    Twitter: wordstrumpet
    November 7, 2012 | 5:16 PM

    I agree–creativity should be fun and freeing. When I was first working on my novel earlier this yer, it was a grind. Finally, I gave myself permission just to let it be bad, the advice I give to students and clients all the time, and now it is glorious, amazing fun. I’m in love with the writing process once again!

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      November 8, 2012 | 9:29 AM

      I’m so glad you said that, Charlotte!! I try to get my writing “right” the first time and that causes the Inner Editor to come out of her dark office. She REALLY takes the fun out of things! I now realize how important it is to just let the story develop and have it’s own fun because that keeps it fun for ME!

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