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In Praise of Former Girlfriends or, My Own Private Nanowrimo - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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In Praise of Former Girlfriends or, My Own Private Nanowrimo [Dec. 6th, 2007|07:52 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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November was mostly a lousy month for me, one of too much self-loathing, too much substance abuse, too much self-loathing, too little productivity or socializing (three nights out in a month? I think that's it). Even instant messaging was too much for me, let alone posting entries here (and never mind my Nanowrimo intentions). Mostly what I did do was watch far too many episodes of The Simpsons and various videos (all rented, sad to say - my desktop has died and I have yet to get it working again).

But that's not why I am posting now. Though it's early days yet, the paralysis has lifted and I don't want to bemoan my (self-inflicted) fate any more than you, Gentle Readers, want to hear about it.

What I do want to do is offer up some thanks to my (ex) ex, Siya, who last week - maybe inadvertently - tossed my a live-preserver.

She called me on Wednesday (or was it Thursday?) last week, said she was at her new home working on getting things organized. "Why don't you bring your laptop? I need company and you need to write. You have to promise to do at least 2,000 words."

Gentle Readers, I nearly said no, such was my state of mind, my lack of self-confidence.

"Let me finish breakfast and call you back," I said. During that interregnum, a ridiculous argument raged inside my head, but wisdom won out. I called her back. "I'll be over in an hour," I said, and an hour later (or maybe a little longer) I parked my bike in front of her place and rang the bell.

We talked for a few minutes, she showed me what she'd done with the place (a lot!) and we shared a smoke or two, then I opened my machine and she went off to work on making her place liveable.

And staring at my screen, away from my own home and with no internet connection to distract me, my god I did it. 2,000 words over the course of four or so hours! And another 2,000 the next day, when we repeated the process.

Over the weekend, things fell apart for me again, but yesterday I managed to start writing again and continued again today. The paralysis has left me and I feel better than I have in quite some time - now, to ensure that I make a habit of it, every bloody day ...

Thanks, Siya.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2007-12-07 02:07 am (UTC)
I've been tossing an idea about accomplishment around my head for a few weeks now: if you want to get something done, get other people involved. That's not to say that everything you do must be a collaboration, but that there's some third party -- other than you and the work itself -- to see if you fail to make an attempt. There has to be someone to disappoint. Sometimes, as you've just found out, the mere presence of another -- and the attendant expectation -- can be enough to stoke the fire.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2007-12-08 02:28 am (UTC)

Solitary Collaboration?

I have always thought of writing as being essentially a solitary activity. And usually, I've preferred to think of it that way - I haven't often even been tempted by the idea of, for instance, writing a story with somebody else. (On the other hand, I have also often envied musicians just because music is/can be such a collaborative venture. (Do I contradict myself? Well, frank yes ...))

And this week, having been jump-started last, I have been working (2,000 words today! Maybe even good ones) on my own again, as my prejudice believes is the right and proper way for a writer to work.

All that said, to respond directly to your comment, having someone else around "to stoke the fire" sure seems to have been what I needed.
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