Sunday, February 13, 2005

Reverse Psychology and the Stubborn Writer

I have such a twisted psyche.

As soon as anything writerly marches itself from the 'fun stuff' column into 'stuff I HAVE to do' territory, I become the original stubborn mule, a dig-your-heels-in one hundred per cent thirsty-horse-refusing-to-drink-at-water hardarse.

Have you ever had a conversation like this?

Person A:- You need to get that stuff done
Person B:- Yeah, I know.
Person A:- The sooner you get it done, the quicker you can get back to fun writing
Person B:- True. But that still means I have to do the crap stuff first
Person A:- Be professional! You're a committed writer!
Person B:- I'll be professional tomorrow. I DID work a 40 hour week, you know.
Person A:- Do an hour at the crap stuff, then go and watch a DVD or something.
Person B:- OR, I could go and watch the DVD and forget about the crap stuff
Person A:- You'll hate yourself if you don't do it
Person B:- I'll hate myself if I don't bleach the toilet, too
Person A:- You suck
Person B:- Bite me

So, you HAVE had a conversation like that?

Ever had it with yourself?

I do. All the time. Every day. Continuously.

I'm doing it right now. I'm thinking, "I could be writing instead of blogging. But if I don't post regularly, I might as well not blog. But if I don't finish reworking that scene this weekend, I'm going to wake up tomorrow and groan in anguish. But blogging is writing, kind of - it's a writing exercise. Sex is exercise - but staying in every night and bonking ain't gonna get you a gold medal at the hundred metres."

Etc etc. Ad nauseum.

In the past I've been reduced to sticking up post-its and notices saying, "The sooner you finish, the sooner you can get back to [fun WIP]." Generally I raise two fingers at them. I could always work on something else, but even the thought of doing that grinds the cogs in my head so loud I wince as sparks and sheared off cog-teeth fly out my ears. I have an editor request for this MS. What is WRONG with me?

Is there a solution? Well, writing the Damn Book might be a start. Accepting the process instead of agonising about it might help - I tend to have a couple of months of white-hot writing, then a month or two of very little.

But, no, I haven't really found a solution. Yet.

I'll keep you posted.


At 5:32 pm, Blogger Jaye said...

Sex is exercise - but staying in every night and bonking ain't gonna get you a gold medal at the hundred metres."Who needs a medal? Like vitue, sex is it's own reward. ;-) gg. Not helping am I? Let me try a bit of that reserve psychology: Don't bother writing a blessed thing today, Anna.

At 6:56 pm, Blogger Jaci Burton said...

only write if you feel it

only rework that scene if you really want it bad enough to do it

otherwise it's crap and it'll always be crap

Don't do it. Ignore it. Go write the fun stuff.



At 1:08 pm, Anonymous Suzanne said...

LOL, Anna. I think I've had that conversation with myself....

At 3:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

((((Anna)))) I feel for you.

~Michelle who has just finished reading On Writing which does have a lot of inspirational adivce on the subject.


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