Saturday, December 09, 2023

Writing the ghosts away

Writing about "The Beckoning Fair One" must have cursed me, because I have written literally nothing on my own work since. What are the obstacles? 
  • All the writing advice is about carving out time and space for yourself. Let's take time: the advice is "Just say no" to extra work, committee, admin work, and so on. Figuring I've done my bit, as the Brits used to say during WWII, I've turned down things until I felt a little guilty. But Spouse pointed out, logically and also comfortingly, that I've already done a lot of all that and ought to let someone else have a chance to shine. 
  • Teaching and grading? Yes, that takes time, but not unmanageably so. I have time to work if I would actually get at it. 
  • Next, space: What about Virginia Woolf's famous room of one's own? I have a space to write that I really like: warm, good technology, comfortable desk chair, good reading chair, lots of books, and all that. 
  • How about resources? I have the materials I need--books, .pdfs, and a handy if too-tempting library.
  • What about the project? Was it imposed on me? Nope, I volunteered. I did half of it months ago, and it's on a subject I really like.
  • What about daily writing? I've done the usual suspects: read some writing inspiration, tried the old, time tracking, word counting, accountability partners, etc. Nothing helped.
  • Tried writing in different settings, writing with pen & ink, with typewriter, in my campus office rather than at home, everything.  Nothing helped. 
What did I write? Nothing. Could not do it, and the deadline hasn't gone away. 

So typing these words is an attempt to break the logjam, or banish the barriers, or to hail the goddess of writing, or to summon the collective spirit of blogitivity, to get moving on this thing.


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Special delivery for Undine: one dose Writing Mojo and a sample size of Anti-Bugge Spray. If you need more than this, we'll have to discuss quantities, pricing, and need-by dates, because there's only so much of this stuff I can brew up at one time.

xykademiqz said...

No advice here. I have given up and given in to stupid overwork; haven't written either fiction or academic papers all semester (I have teaching overload and enough service to crush a medium-sized elephant). I pushed back everything that could be pushed back, canceled some stuff last minute, slacked off where I could, and now I'm standing (barely) and hoping that next semester things will be better, and when they're better, I will write.

But I am having a hard time concentrating on the work I should be doing. As before, putting on headphones and blasting favorites on Spotify seems to be the only thing that helps. And carbs. After a stressful day, I swear friend rice makes me happy and functional like nothing else.

undine said...

Dame Eleanor--I think your magic worked! I got a little bit of writing done, but not enough.

xykademiqz--the concentration is the worst; I should try carbs & music!