Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay
June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?
My answer will not be very helpful, I'm afraid. Writing is simply part of my routine. Nearly 365 days a year, I get up and I do it. My motivation is not the same as a normal person's.
First, I have an addictive personality. I have never been in rehab for substance addiction, nor have I needed to, because I don't become addicted to substances. I become addicted to patterns of behavior. What I'm getting around to here is writing is an addiction that replaces another addiction. It's like what Alice Cooper once said about his "addiction" to golf replacing his addiction to alcohol.
I have many self-destructive behaviors that writing replaces. While I've never been addicted to any substance, in the past I was an expert at self-medicating. At this point, I'm too much of a control freak to enjoy feeling out of control. Writing is something that I feel compelled to do. I have ever since I was six years old, no fooling. That blasted Edgar Allan Poe awakened a demon in me.
I started reading Poe when I was six years old. I knew how to read by the time I was four. I had an aptitude for it and a father who thought he could make me into some sort of child prodigy. He tried to teach me Latin and German as well as English, but by the time I was a teenager, I pushed back against the additional languages and forgot most of what I'd learned.
I'm not relating this story to brag about how smart I am. Far from it. I've made far and away enough stupid mistakes to refute any big ideas about my spectacular intelligence. My father had a saying. If you're so smart, why aren't you rich? My bank account reveals me to be a complete fuckhead. I live on the pittance that SSD gives me and it doesn't go very far.
I can write, but I can't make people like what I write. I'm crap at self-promotion.
I'm not smart. I'm self-destructive.
Writing counteracts my self-destructive tendencies. It's something that I have to do. Nothing else works for me the way writing does.
Writing is also my lynchpin activity that helps counteract the undocked and adrift feeling that, for me, is part and parcel of ADHD. If I don't write, I don't do well with anything else, including tasks such as cooking. If I were only cooking for myself, I'd eat nothing but frozen dinners or sandwiches because I really don't give a shit about myself. I cook for my son. That my cooking is reasonably edible means I'll eat what I cook. I wouldn't be able to make myself cook if my consciousness were floating around untethered. FACT!
Writing gives me something to cultivate and take care of. Even though I'm a loner by nature, I don't do well living alone. I don't like myself enough to take care of myself. I know that many of you will think this is "pathetic," but my characters become my friends.
The thing that sabotages my writing most is the realization that people just don't like me. I'm socially awkward. I have a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth. I can't make myself pretend the world is a shiny, happy place. When I see injustice, I speak out. While I try to be polite and avoid saying mean-spirited things under the guise of "honesty," I won't indulge in odious concepts even if they are en vogue. For instance, many writers seem to think it's just fine and dandy to use larger people as scapegoats and punching bags. I won't stand for that shit. As a reviewer, I will knock off at least one star and sometimes more from a book that engages in size stereotyping.
On one hand, I don't mind being the unpopular old bitch who demands that people check their prejudices. Hell, I don't really mind being alone most of the time. I'm a lone wolf by nature. I'm difficult to get to know. I don't need a lot of outside contacts, but sometimes not having any friends hurts.
Anyway, in a roundabout fashion, my answer to this month's question is I start or work on projects because I have to. It's a compulsion. It's an addiction. It's my compass. It's what I've got. It is what it is, and I'm going to keep doing it even though I'm sure most people would prefer I didn't. I'm an asshole like that.
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
There are much, much worse compulsions to have. As you know.ReplyDelete
I've done a lot of them. Booze, drugs, dumb hookups with stupid guys that for some inane reason I hoped would love me if I gave in to their demands. I think the third one was worse than the booze and drugs. It always led to self-loathing hangovers.Delete
Well what an awesome compulsion to have! I love your raw honesty.ReplyDelete
Thanks, I appreciate it.Delete
I'm glad writing fills a need and helps you with other aspects of your life. I also really appreciate what you said about therapists needing to get to the bottom of why someone is struggling. I'm so sorry you didn't get the help you needed. Fatphobia sucks.ReplyDelete
Thank you. :-)Delete