Paralyse or Galvanise?

May 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Posted in Mental Health, Writing, Writing and Life | 4 Comments
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I am finding it difficult to write. I am tired and lethargic a lot of the time – stress? I am also angry at myself that I haven’t got my Dad’s story written before now, yet my nephew, who has so much more activity and responsibility in his life, has included his version of part of Dad’s life in a published novel. If and when I do get mine written, my story will be different to his, with a very different focus, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he’s done it and I haven’t.

Trouble is, that fact has paralysed, rather than galvanised me, and it shouldn’t. It should encourage me.

So I ask myself:

How much do I really want to write Dad’s story? How much do I really want to finish Ben’s Choice? How much do I really want to re-write my Northern Territory children’s novels?  How much do I want to write the memoirs that people say I should write?’

Anyone looking at what I do every evening and often, during the day too, would think I had no ambition to write anything more than Facebook entries and an occasional blog entry – because that is all I do write.

Sure, I have made myself do a bit here and there now and then, but it doesn’t last. I get lethargic and I can’t write. Or at least, I tell myself that I can’t write.

But I am realising that the real problem is that I WON’T write. And why? These are my thought:

  * Because I can’t make the effort to do the WORK that is involved;

  * Because I talk myself into believing I can’t write anyway;

  * Because I cannot get enough time alone, without feeling that I have to do things for others first.  There are so many interruptions that I feel like it’s not worth starting to write.

  * Because I am AFRAID that it won’t be good enough – it won’t be as good as Ben’s Challenge; it won’t be perfect.

  * Because I am afraid that the story won’t even come to me.

But looking at it realistically, the facts are:

  * I have done the work before (part of it whilst undergoing chemotherapy), so I can do it again;

  * I should know that I can write, and write well – my previous writing demonstrates that;

  * I can always shut the door to my study, or go out of the house – go somewhere else to write where I will not be disturbed;

  * I can make the sequel BETTER than Ben’s Challenge, because I have learned so much more than I knew when I was writing that first book.

  * the initial writing doesn’t need to be perfect – it just needs to get the story down. I can work on it later. Just because I edited Ben’s Challenge and the other stories as I wrote them, doesn’t mean I can’t write any other way.

  * I won’t know whether the story will come unless and until I start writing it.

So, the action I must take? I have to put aside my doubts and my lethargy and get on with writing. It sounds easy, but I know it isn’t and it won’t be.

What I do over the next little while will demonstrate to me  just how much I really do want to write. And I am putting this up as a blog post to give me the incentive to get it all going.  I hope you will ask me for updates on how much progress I am making so that I will have the incentive to do it.

I want to be galvanised, not paralysed.

(c) Linda Visman


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  1. Yes, it is a bitch being a writer isn’t it? I am having similar problems. For two years of some writing and a lot of research I have got my character to Serbia. Only this week actually. I should be racing ahead now to finish the first draft but I’m stuffing around.
    You will get the words down Linda, don’t worry. It is just so hard to write on top of everything else.
    Shall I ask you for a regular update, lol.

    • Perhaps we should challenge each other Debbie :-). I think that getting the problem up on the blog was a good move, and as long as the queries are not too soon, I’d love a few requests for updates on my progress, thank you 🙂

      • I will prod you in a few weeks. And feel free to prod me too!

  2. […] Paralyse or Galvanise? […]

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