There is absolutely nothing worse than giving up while writing, mid-way through a sentence. Well, there is worse things, when you think about it- the mass genocides during World War II, the fact that William Regal has never held a major championship, when a pizza place puts slightly more pepper than you can tolerate (yeah, you asked for jalapenos, big man- now you’ve got to suffer them!)
OK, so it’s not the worst thing ever, but it’s definitely an irritating inconvenience. I think the main problem is that I get problems involving doubt, rather than anything to do with distractions. See, writer’s block/mental block/whatever you call it is pretty much the exact opposite of procrastinating- you want to work, but your mind won’t quite let you. Or even worse, you get a brief moment of clarity- which can last anything between 6 seconds and 2 hours, before being cut tantalizingly short, sometimes even mid-word…
I’ve tried different methods of combating this- including the classic ‘put TV on and find some inspiration somewhere’. That one doesn’t work if you don’t have a television, and if I go for a walk and think of something good, there’s an almost certain chance that by the time I get back, I’ve totally forgotten the idea. So the cycle begins again.
It honestly gets horrible, especially if you manage to carve out an hour of solid writing (maybe adding more to the character sketches, fleshing out the relationships etc, as well as adding more dialogue and trying to shoehorn a plot into there too…) It begins to feel ominous that- sooner rather than later- your head is going to go on strike- it’s then pretty much a race against time, as paragraphs and sentences give way to fragments and bullet points, to be written up at a later date. Hopefully. Even worse, random question marks where I can’t quite think of the right words…
I’ve realised another problem I’ve got, while we’re on this subject- I hate drafting. I have (what I think is) a deep-seated psychological fear of finishing a piece of writing, and re-doing it because it…well, isn’t very good. If it’s sub-par, I’d rather it remained it- at least it was made in one effort and you can often see the idea slowly (OK, sometimes frantically) evolve.
The problem then becomes internalised, resulting in this.
So, there are two options- attack the beast head-on, or retreat.
…if you need me, I’ll be in Cracked.com, waiting for it to go away.
PS- Two weeks to go until Wrestlemania XXIX. Expect posts concerning this.