Monday, November 21, 2016

That Really Deep Writing Post // Part #5

And, here we are again with another That Really Deep Writing Post, because like I said, I have way too much time to think when I’m at work. And if I don’t think about things to write, I will go insane (or, to be accurate, more insane). 

Anywho, here we go. 

Please, Me Do Other Things? (Me writer. Me talk good English.) I’ve already mentioned this feeling a little, but it bears repeating. Even though I have a great boss and I like my job and my workplace, and even though I love earning money, (*eyes turn to dollar signs*) I spend a lot of time fighting the desire to go home. A large part of this is anxiety, but part of it just comes from forgetting that I am tired and in pain now, but if I go home, I will just be tired and in pain there. I have this annoying habit of always wanting to be doing something other than the task in front of me. Every time I start reading a book, I suddenly get the urge to read a different book. When I'm at work, I want to be writing. When I'm writing, I want to pet the dog. If I’m sitting in one chair, then by golly, I would like to sit in that other chair. *shakes head at self* I’m essentially a toddler. 

Likewise with writing. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this November, it’s probably because you want to write—because, despite the many conflicting emotions that come with the job, you do love it, if only in secret. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are likely to spend about 75% of your writing time wanting to do just about anything else. You make your coffee or your tea. You sit down at your computer. And bam! You have the sudden urge to wrestle gorillas or donate your eyes to science. Anything to avoid putting words on the page. And you know what? You just have to push through it. Teach your brain to ignore these feelings of discontentment, these little lines of complaint, and you will get stuff done. If your brain tries to sabotage you, put it in time out. Don't forget that you're in charge here. (Side note: Don't be like me with antsy horses. When I was working in a barn one summer, another barn girl told me to show the thousand pounds of anxiety who was boss, so I left the horse in charge. Don't do that with your book.) 

Can’t You Stay Clean For, Like, Five Minutes? As you hurdle toward the end of November, you’re likely to start thinking about revisions. So it only makes sense to include an editorial comparison. 

When I’m cleaning on Sundays, I have to work around the youth group. Basically, they follow me like the trail of slime following a snail. Me being the snail, since I feel like I’m working so slowly all the time. And them being the slime, because they make things messy. (Gosh, Liz, you can’t just go calling people slime. It’s not nice. It’s not civilized.) Whatever. I clean stuff just in time for them to use it and make it dirty again, which is totally fine. That’s what I’m there for and that’s what they’re there for. La di da. But it can be somewhat sad to realize that the set of rooms I have just spent two hours cleaning is going to be dirty again in a matter of moments. When I leave the building, it’s usually with a dramatically mournful sense that I have accomplished nothing more than damage control. *cue existential crisis* 

In the same way, when you edit, sometimes you can think you are doing a wonderful job. At least, you hope you are doing a wonderful job. Everything is so clean and shiny and perfect seeming. You are brilliant, you mad genius you. And then you send the draft off to beta readers, and they dirty it up with all their comments and their red pen marks, and you have to do even more cleaning. You don’t get to enjoy the satisfaction of a tidy draft for long. This is to be expected, though, so it works best for everyone if you refuse to let yourself get frustrated. 

It’s not a perfect analogy, I know. But it works in my mind, so maybe it will work in yours? 

What about you, my little coffee beans? Do you find it somewhat disheartening to think you have done a good job with editing, only to realize you have so. Much. More work to do? Do you struggle to be content in the moment? Do you think that’s purely an anxiety issue, or something else as well?


  1. Do Youth Groups eat while having meetings? o.O It's a bit sad that they make the place dirty. Hm.

    I also wanna do other things all the time. When at college, I wanna write or read.

  2. The second point is why I hate cleaning. It just gets dirty again. I so get that with editing. XD