Thursday, July 27, 2006

Internalized Barriers to Accomplishment

I started writing again last week and here I sit, after stringing together three days of work on a story, I ran into a big honking roadblock, me.

When you read about writing (something I do way too much of) one of the cardinal tenets of the faith is that you have to write something every day, no excuses. The reason for this bit of dogma is two-fold. First, writing everyday develops a habit. If you write everyday, not only does the quality of your writing improve (theoretically), you are more likely to brush aside the transient distractions of the moment to sit down and start typing. The second reason is that it's harder to get back into the groove if you skip a day.

So what's the deal? Why have I honked off the past couple of days and gotten out of my little groove? I'd like to think that it was because life got in the way, but that wouldn't be the truth. The only real thing I've had to do this summer was show up at eight a.m. for a two hour calculus class.

Why am I sitting here typing this out for free when I could be putting some work in on a story that could be sold?

Why do I sit at the computer and create an excel spreadsheet to track what work I've done like record ideas, keep tabs on my progress on those ideas and hopefully track submissions down the line? I could be working on one of two stories that are already open in Word.

Why do I sit down and cruise the internet, reading message boards and blogs that I'm only marginally interested in?

Why do I continue to sabotage myself? Why do I consistently step on the little seedling of writing aspiration that pops up from time to time?


Anonymous said...

because you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

see my earlier comment--do you still have the link to the ad that was your muse for the ballad of jim nussle

Lobo said...

No, I don't. It's an ad from the early 90's with his daughter doing "Itsy-Bitsy-Spider".

Master Plan said...

It's an interesting thing is it not? The drive to do nothing. And then the drive to agonize over it.

Suggestions include:

Recognize the agonizing and self-beating behaviors as what they are and then...stop.

That's likely to be more important than the writing itself.

You seem quite aware that you do it, so, when you are aware you are doing it, note that, and then do something else. Don't write, something else.

I find as well that it's better to worry less about what you write than to simply write. It doesn't have to apply to a story, it doesn't have to make sense.

Analysis of the problem past the point of identifying the problem *becomes* the problem. ain't never sellin' shit. Writing is dead. Get in now or it's over. Unless you like writing vampire erotica for teens or silly derivative shit about boy wizards for tweens.

Seriously, you seen that NaNoWriMo thing? There are literally millions of people with unpublished novels that they are shopping around and have been shopping around for years and they are writing more stories as I type this. If you are writing to make money...give up. If you're writing because it's so damn fun....then "progress" and all the rest of it are unimportant.

That's what I've seen at least in the Wibbly World Wanderings.