Sunday, January 10, 2016

Just Bloody Write!

I have said that I wouldn't post here the stuff I wrote same day. Instead my writing diary should appear 3-4 weeks after the fact. However I just wrote this (with typos) and it felt write to pst it

January 19th, 2016 06:09

Another morning when I just couldn’t face it when the alarm went off. Got up (eventually) at 05:55 (feeling guilty).

Isn’t it amazing how the psyche or our attitudes adjust? November 2015 and I would have thought “Up before six, well done”.  Now "up at five to six" feels like failure! 

But this is the point of good habits, like dry months, writing every day, getting up at 04:00, we get these things into our bones.

If I could make 04:00 a life-long routine, how much more work might I do?

Of course, the choice was arbitrary. When I began the aim was 05:30 but then I decided on 04:00 with the idea that I rose, blasted off a thousand or two thousand, took the dogs out, went to the gym for an hour and was back before 08:30 “my day’s base targets achieved”.

So, I have got up mostly at the unearthly hour of four, but instead have obsessed on word-counts, NOT gone to the gym, got fatter (it feels like) and felt body-worse with swollen feet.

But let us remember we are finding the best balance. 

For me, the way I am, that usually means a splurge of over activity followed by a short collapse and then another splurge. 

For example (say) 30 days writing 4K a day then two blanks, then a 500 and then off again to maybe write 4K a day for 27 days.

The alternative is Steady-Eddie writing 2K a day, hardly ever missing. The extreme person (in my body-mind case) will, unless there’s a long collapse, illness or death, write probably twice as much as Steady-Eddie in a year.

Secondly, the hyper-activity drive usually increases quality. 

Throughout my life: running, soccer, writing fiction; sales. writing articles etc, I have found I can engineer a state of high arousal through high-productivity. I am not good at cruising. I am a business creator not a manager.

One purpose of this diary (as well as keeping me going between spurts of fiction) is to show “one person’s way”.

In the past, at writer’s conferences, whenever I have tried to push people I have felt resistance from 95% of the room.

This amazes me. THINK. All these people have come to a class on motivation, goals, where to write more. and then immediately they've dug their heels in, because “their method works!” 

If your method works, WTF are you doing here?

Of course, what works for me might not work for you. 

But maybe you will find that (for you) 22:00 to 02:00 is fabulously productive, and maybe that will be enough for you, but please, PLEASE, examine your habits. 

99% of aspiring writers do not write enough, write often enough, write intensely enough. 95% do not “let go” (unless driven to do so) very few “write drunk”, few trust their heart. 

Instead they (like me) start out writing horrible, copy-cat, me-too, sterile fiction thinking that a clever twist-ending is the sign of greatness.

Good writing is like sex, deep, meaningful head-fucking. You get inside your own head and sometimes into the head of another.

When I am asked who do I write for, rather than say “for me” (which maybe I do) I say I write for one woman, a woman I’d like to sleep with. 

There is great intimacy in serious writing, great vulnerability (and paradoxically great bravery and courage). Is bravery and courage the same thing? Dunno. I was writing a different sentence but the original escaped.

What I ask of you is not, NOT “to do it my way”. 

What I ask is that you examine YOUR way, you consider whether everything is a bit too easy, a bit comfortable, a bit “playing at it”.

And PLEASE don’t say you have kids, a job, seven ageing parents. I don’t give a shit. 

If you want to be a carer, be a carer. I respect that. 

But if your bones and bowels tell you WRITE than you have to, have to, find a way to find the time, find a way to find the energy, find a way to find a system, something repeatable, efficient that will make you PRIMARILY a writer.

If you are also a Nuclear Physicist, fine. But are you a Writer first, someone who wakes every day desperate to create a poem, or  a story or get 2K out on the novel? Is the physics just a job because you need to earn to eat?

Or are you a Nuclear Physicist who just loves splitting atoms, and “for fun” scribbles here and there?

That’s fine, do what makes you happy, but don’t you DARE pretend you’re a writer. You’re a genteel hobbyist, that’s all.

A writer wants to write every day. S/he gets up thinking about writing. She feels bad if she fails to write. She looks at the world as a source of writing-material. If he’s struck by a car and is lying there broken, he is trying to remember this experience so when he survives (and God would not DARE kill him before he’s written this up) he can write the best short ever about being at the edge of death.

Don’t lie to yourself. I house-husbanded, brought up two kids, wrote five novels while doing so; ran a Boot Camp (free then) with 80 people in it, all so active we had to have 7 sub-groups (named after the seven dwarfs) and I was Snow White, raised money for my soccer team, ran competitions, produced anthologies, was an editor of a lit-mag, was a running coach, there three days a week and racing weekends, ran almost every day, three hours on a Sunday if not racing. There is always time. Turn the fucking TV off.

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