Functional Headcase

Over the weekend I picked Ma’s brain on the cure of the root cause of my priortizing writing badly. She noted that it’s a family trait, but didn’t know how to cure the problem.

Just before bed, she came back and suggested something Clever. She suggested that writing something would clean up my attic sufficiently to remove some of the neurotic behavior responsible for preventing my writing. That is, without knowing what the root cause is exactly nor how to cure it, treating the symptom would have a palliative effect on the condition.

That sounded a bit wonky to me: I won’t let myself do things that I want to do for some pathological reason; do the things that I want to do and I will have less pathological reason to prevent myself doing those things. Very catch-22.

And it worked. The more I wrote, the better I felt about it, and the more I wrote.

Reasonably, if I keep writing, I will be able to keep writing.

Is there a way to communicate this that doesn’t sound stupid?

10 thoughts on “Functional Headcase”

  1. You’re afraid to do the thing you want because you won’t have time to do all the other things and the world will end in fire and blood.
    You do the thing you want. The world doesn’t precisely end. Maybe you can make some time and the world won’t end all the way after all.

    1. Are you seriously suggesting that the world will continue to turn if I am not working the crank? Surely not. Surely not.


      Words at 10:30: 720

      1. I’m saying that there may be enough momentum if you crank it really really hard just before you stop to write that it may spin for a little while. (:

        No words yet: But there is French Toast.

      2. Not only that, but its perhaps just possible that the kitchen will avoid turning into a complete morass of slime and toxic bacteria with the help of your family. Asking for help takes much less time than doing it oneself. Asking for help can also happen while one’s butt is in front of the keyboard.

        1. Yesbut. When my workload gets larger, or the urgency more intense, the portion of my mind that actually acknowledges that my genes do not come from Krypton quickly erodes, leaving nothing but an overwhelmed idiot in blue long johns. I forget how to ask for help.

          It’s a problem I’m working on.

  2. I have a variant of that, which is that I didn’t write because I was afraid of what I’d find out if I did. But if I gritted my teeth and wrote anyway, I discovered that nothing really bad happened and it was All Okay. So the more I wrote, the more I was able to write! Now that I’ve fallen far out of the habit I’m having exactly the same sort of neuroses about starting again, but it’s made easier by the memory that teeth-gritting works.

    And I don’t know how to communicate that clearly, but I think there’s something fundamental to “In order to write you have to keep writing”, because so many authors seem to need to make themselves write on a schedule (every day, every weekend, whatever). The fundamental reasons might vary a lot, but in the end I think ‘Keep writing so you can keep writing’ applies to an awful lot of people.

    1. Just so, and, yes, I’m hearing from a bundle of people with similar issues. One suspects a clever conspiracy from the Far Right, seeking to destroy creativity in all its forms.

      But, one always does.

  3. Strangely, I’m having a similar experience with exercise.

    “I don’t have time to exercise,” I said to myself. Then I started getting up at ungodly hours of the morning and walking. Then I started walking in the afternoon. Then I found a friend with whom to walk in the afternoon. Now I can’t imagine not walking. I’m getting approximately 2 hours of physical activity every day. That’s not bad. Where is that two hours coming from? What am I missing out on doing? Oh. Yeah. Procrastinating about other things.

    1. So, if I get up at ungodly hours of the morning and exercise, I’ll write. I’m game. I’ll miss procrastinating, though.

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