I have always had the ability to attach my demons to my chariot. — Ingmar Bergman
At the end of the writer's reins are any number of demons, but the lead pair are often Necessity and Creativity.
As demons go, Necessity is practical, methodical and level-headed, likes to color-code and alphabetize things, and isn't happy unless it's rearranging or streamlining something. It views idleness and apathy as horrors, and anyone prone to them a nightmare.
Despite its grim rep, Necessity has occasionally accomplished minor miracles, like finding in under ten minutes a cash receipt for a malfunctioning laptop bought Christmas Eve three years ago with an in-store warranty. Two days before the warranty expired, no less. It has walked the floors at night because the taxes didn't balance out to the penny, at least, not until Necessity runs a tape on the ledger five more times. Necessity harnesses itself to the chariot bright and early every morning, because it's done sleeping, and now it's time to work.
No one likes Necessity, so it is by nature silent and self-sufficient.
Its running partner, Creativity, is a flighty, self-absorbed, unreliable demon ruled by its emotional response to pretty much everything in existence. It can't remember the alphabet and thinks color codes are only useful as passwords secret agents might use to get mission assignments in a story, i.e. "Blue Danube. Seduce the North Korean ambassador's wife during Paris embassy party. Post video on YouTube. Gotcha."
Lazy as it is, Creativity has occasionally pulled off minor miracles, too, like writing three hundred thousand words in ninety days to create a series out of a trilogy that it ended a year earlier. Or that time it credibly wrote a biker and an elephant into the plot for a story in which bikers and elephants would never appear in a million years, all because the editor thought they would make "fun" story elements to add.
Everyone loves Creativity, so it spends a lot of time basking in admiration.
Necessity also dotes on Creativity, when it's not nagging it to stop slouching, get a haircut and find a pair of shoes that actually match, for God's sake. Creativity has a certain exasperated fondness for Necessity, although it thinks a weekend in Marseilles, a five-pound ganache with raspberry-chocolate glaze and a good schtupping in a feather bed would change Necessity's life for the better.
Once properly harnessed, Necessity usually leads while Creativity trots along for the ride. Necessity knows exactly where it is going, how long it will take to get there and what is required for the journey. It packed everything last night in color-coded travel bags and also brought extra toothbrushes, just in case.
Creativity packed nothing, doesn't know what time it is and could care less where it's going. It wants to stop to smell every flower, inspect every traveller and feed at every trough. It only gets its ass in gear when it spots, smells or hears something to chase, and then Necessity must keep pace or get trampled.
Necessity secretly appreciates Creativity's little sprints and all the very cool places they take them, although it would really appreciate a map next time and maybe a schedule of stops spaced at regular intervals so it doesn't miss lunch or burn dinner.
Creativity won't admit it, but it knows that if it wasn't for Necessity, it would never stop daydreaming long enough to complete a journey. Now if Necessity would simply leave those extra toothbrushes at home, and stop bypassing all those cool-looking side roads, every trip would be amazing.
Generally Creativity gets all the credit for the success of the journey -- something that would never have happened without Necessity's determination and endurance -- while Necessity takes all the criticism for every bump, pot hole and pitfall along the way -- something that it knows would smother Creativity if it had to deal with it.
They squabble, bicker and try to resist each other, but after a time they learn to travel together. They know that if we hitch only one of them to the chariot, we're not going anywhere interesting, or we're not going anywhere at all. Or Ego and Fear will take the lead, in which case there's going to be a huge pile-up down the road.
What's harnessed to your chariot?