On giving up

Well, I forgot to do my weekly roundup, something I had vowed to be consistent on, which might be the perfect lead-in to what I was planning to write, anyway.

I’m sitting here eating cold English muffins and eggs as my new cat meows behind me. She just caught a spider a few minutes ago, and we’re both feeling smug. Like the ship cats of yore, she has a job to do in this household: kill things. Considering how enthusiastic she was to commit murder (after some light sadism) just now, I’m confident I hired the right feline for the job.

She’s also cute.

flops

Anywho, my plan for the day consists of cleaning, errands, and writing. I always add writing to the list because, if I don’t, it would be considered giving up. Denial is the first step to not giving up! And it’s only denial until the day I actually check writing off of my to-do list.

One asset I’ve been adding to my arsenal of procrastination tools is PlanningTM. So many plans have been made, written, excel-d, google-doc’d, notebooked, and google kept over the past few weeks. Plans are pretty things that exist in a realm meant for those who can follow them. I made a plan to alternate between working on Guides and … an older story.

That’s my cycle, if no one has noticed yet. I get a new idea I’m excited about (ABO! Inherited!) and then I think back to all my old, less exciting WIPs and think, wow man, like I’m never going to finish shit ever. Whiskey? The Only Light? Wasn’t I excited about them at some point???

So I erase Plan A. I open a new page of my notebook or whatever I’m writing my delusions in that day and list: THE ONLY LIGHT. FINISH.

Seems doable. The second step in my CycleTM is to pull up the first chapter of the old story, thinking I’ll do some light editing as I refresh myself on the story, and then I have an allergic reaction to the words and die.

At that point, I don’t want to write anymore. I don’t want to start something new, and I cannot stomach old shit. The nascent spark of creativity flickers and then goes out. Womp womp.

(I just gave Chata my plate of cold egg scraps and now at least one of us is happy).

I think every writer is jealous of what they perceive another writer has. For me, it’s the ability to focus on one project until it’s done that makes me seethe. MUST BE NICE, I say as I turn on Breath of the Wild and ignore the world. If dabbling in the LGBT publishing world has taught me anything, it’s that I am not a book writer… yet. I’m an occasional poster.

Again, though, that sounds like giving up.

I used to get mad at my mom for randomly deciding we were going to make healthy smoothies for breakfast every morning or for buying endless gluten-free cookbooks when she never used recipes from the old ones. I knew none of these ambitions would pan out. One time, I finally said just that. “You’ll never actually follow through with it.”

She looked at me and replied, “So what’s the alternative? Just give up and do nothing?”

I felt ashamed. For one thing, my attitude had sprung from how my dad always talked about my mom. She never finishes anything. Secondly, it never occured to me that giving up was the alternative to optimism. If she didn’t keep trying, then nothing would ever happen.

Most likely, I will make another plan tomorrow. I’ll add writing as an objective, and maybe pick one old story to work on. If it doesn’t happen, there’s always the next day.

Week of 4/23/18
Mish mash; Wasting time

2 thoughts on “On giving up

  1. I, too, fall into that cycle over and over again (though it’s not about writing for me) and I get where you’re coming from… I’m very ambitious, and my plans are always grand, but it seems that I can never follow them through completely, and I don’t want to start making another until I finish the previous one, but I can’t finish the previous one, and so on and on. I’m sure you get what I’m talking about. It’s a vicious cycle. So, I’m going to tell you what every one of my professors told me (I’m studying psychology). Actually, what they would told you.
    Why don’t you try writing short, but complete story? Complete being the keyword. Forget about the old ones for just a moment, or at least try to. Don’t post it in chapters, just sit and try to finish it. I’m not talking about forcing yourself, never that, but if you still have desire to write, try this approach. Or you can try finishing one of your older stories, but again, without forcing yourself. For example, don’t sit and tell yourself “Ok, I’m starting this chapter, and I’m going to finish it,damn it”. Take it day by day with goals like 300 or 400 words per day… and try to let inspiration come naturally. Small victories lead to success :) .
    From what I know, and from my personal experience, people tend to be excellent de-motivators, but horrible motivators regarding themselves. Try not be hard on yourself, because in the end, you’re writing for yourself, and thus writing should be your source of joy, not stress. And besides, I don’t see a problem with being occasional poster. That’s the pace at which you write, and there’s nothing wrong with it. And that’s certainly not giving up. And while we’re at that, what exactly would you be giving up on? If you’re thinking about quitting writing altogether, that’s not giving up…I think that’s just you wanting a break. You’re creative, and a damn good writer, so your muse can never stay quiet for long, believe me.

    Hope I didn’t bore you…I’m sure you know all this stuff already, but we all sometimes need to be reminded. And I know how hard it can be to get out of that vicious cycle. I’m still fighting against it day after day.

    I seriously love your works, your writing and IMHO you’re the only author in MM genre that I have read that can make codependent relationships somehow work. And I’m (hopefully) future psychologist – I should be allergic to them. And I usually am…but in your stories, they simply work. At least for me. And this is the place I’m coming from while writing this – as your fan, not from some place of entitlement or know-it-all attitude. I’m just throwing this out there, ’cause on the web it’s very easy for people to misinterpret things :).

    • I appreciate the encouragement ^^

      There’s a short story I’ve been working on that’s also… Going slow, heh. But I will say, taking the slow and steady route has yielded more words than before, so that is nice.

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