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Thursday, 28 June 2012

20 Things I’ve Sort of Learned So Far.

  1. Paradoxically, it seems likely that fear of success is what most holds me back. The questions is, ‘Why?’
  2. I can write fluently, without preparation or planning, more or less at will. And I know how much that will piss off some of you, sorry!
  3. I can find ten reasons not to write, even though I enjoy writing and know that’s what I should be doing at the time. Perverse nature, idiocy, or something deeper, like laziness?
  4. Writer’s block is a problem for others. I have my own hurdles to jump. Generally, I build them as I go through life.
  5. Creating is the most enjoyable part of the process of writing. So why do I spend so much time and effort avoiding it?
  6. Editing is also enjoyable. I wonder why I put it off.
  7. Pinterest is a fascinating waste of time. Popular, relatively pointless and addictive.
  8. I can spend an hour or two lost in the inconsequential chatter of Twitter and Facebook. It’s called networking, but it’s really nothing much more than placing my opinions out there to cause discussion and debate.
  9. Learning to touch type would make me more efficient. But I need to be free from the day job to do that with any real chance of success. Roll on retirement from the wage slave employment.
  10. Reading my work out loud allows its imperfections to scream at me. So, I actually try to do this with everything, though I don’t always succeed, of course.
  11. Reading and editing from the printed page reveals all those typos and repetitions I miss when scanning the screen. So, I try to make sure I print off everything before it goes out, except, of course, these blog posts!
  12. As I approach the point where I should submit a piece, I discover innumerable reasons to put it off. Is it doubt, lack of confidence or that old problem from the top of this list, d’you reckon?
  13. It’s better to clip those gems of genius and place them in a file for future use than to discard them with the delete key. I’m all for re-cycling.
  14. There are a hundred distractions for every determined effort to impose discipline on my work process and I can indulge in each of them in spite of the guilt they all bring. Guilt; the precious gift of the Abrahamic religions. Why couldn’t the God Squad deliver something more useful, I wonder.
  15. If I don’t write down that brilliant idea at once, I will, always, always, always, forget it before I reach my study. Always.
  16. Of the brilliant notes I record in any of my 3 notebooks, almost all will result in a useful idea to develop, which makes it surprising that I often resist the recording. Stubborn? Me?
  17. If I fail to produce a visual reminder of my intended actions, I’ll forget what I intended just that morning and find myself doing something else instead. Usually something fairly unproductive, at that.
  18. Sometimes it’s fine to indulge in trivia, daydreams and idleness. Which, given my propensity to do just that, is a pretty good thing.
  19. Music helps isolate me from the intrusive sounds of everyday life. I play all my favourite tracks, both classical and pop, and never actually hear them if I’m lost in the creative process.
  20. Without reviews, an indie author might as well accept that he’ll sell very few books, regardless of the quality. But obtaining reviews is almost as hard as getting the work out there in the first place.
This, by the way, was a useful exercise, in that it concentrated my mind on certain aspects of my behaviour, which I can now attempt to alter. Might be worth your while engaging in a similar list if you see yourself in any of these lessons.
Comments readily received in the appropriate space below. Thank you.

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