Monday, October 17, 2005

I need another avoidance activity

When I'm avoiding working on the novel by blogging, but I can't drag my carcass in the general direction of an even half-assed post, I know it's bad. I'm pages from the end of a huge and way too time-consuming rewrite, but those last few hundred words are slippery. Damn things keep sliding away, collecting in a big puddle just underneath my keypad.

Clearly, I need to drink more.

15 comments:

Sylvana said...
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Sylvana said...

Good luck with your novel! I'm sure that it will be fabulous!

Daniel Heath said...

try licking things. if you get lucky, you'll find something new you like to eat. if not, eventually you'll get so tired of bad tastes that the novel won't seem too bad.

don't lick Mr. Billy or you'll get distracted.

don't lick Blanche or you'll have new scars.

and Syl, speaking as someone who has had the good fortune to read C.B.'s opus as it has developed, your certainty is well-founded.

Daniel Heath said...

ps. I feel your pain c.b. because I just this evening figured out that I had May's dad -all wrong- and that's part of why her chapters are boring, but now I have to go back and fix before I can go forward b/c I have to get it right. so I'm dragging, too.

Nihilistic said...

Clearly drinking is the answer! I'll fix ya a Long Island Ice Tea!

Chemical Billy said...

Thanks, Sylvana!

monkey 0 - the coffee table does have a spunky, yet venerable taste. Courage monkey, your nameless piece is so un-first-draftish already.

stacy - I'll bring ice!

jason evans said...

Hell is the first hundred words and the last hundred words of a book, I think. Sysiphus can roll his dang rock. Those endless rewrites are downright painful.

Caryn said...

Good luck with the rewrites. I'm putting off some of my own right now. Aren't blogs great? One thing I found that works is setting a timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. I tell myself that I must concentrate on my writing for that whole time. By the time the buzzer goes off, I'm finally into my writing and it's not so hard to make myself continue. It's getting started that's the hardest part, I think. Love, love, love my timer. In fact, may have to go use it now.

Anonymous said...

cb:

one never stops writing even if you're not. but you know that. but i do find that intentional artifical constraints can help constipation -- on occasion. See Georges Perec, Walter Abish...??

Think Oulipo.

"Oulipians: Rats who must build the labyrinth from which they propose to escape."

Maqroll

Chemical Billy said...

I'm with Italo: "How well I would write if I were not here! If between the white page and the writing of words and stories that take shape and disappear without anyone's ever writing them there were not interposed that uncomfortable partition which is my person!"

Bless those Oulipians. Anna, your buzzer could almost become an Oulipian constraint, almost. Just turn it around, so you have to write everything for the day in those 15 minutes!

jason, the last hundred because you have to fit in everything you left out in the previous thousands. The first hundred? Not enough constraint, saith the Oulipean. Out there is everything to be said, and here is you and your computer.

On constraints: "Paradoxically, these constraints permit the writer a remarkable freedom. They also serve to destroy the much-cherished myth of 'inspiration,' and its idiot brother, 'writer's block.' - Gilbert Sorrentino

Amen, brother. I think, too, that's why scratch fiction works so well. And, even, certain blog memes.

Anonymous said...

cb,

Maqroll knows Sorrentino well having served under his green gaze at the school of the tall tree many years ago. and i recall his advice to "seek the maze." i thot he meant "maize." there goes my local color. damn, it is a small labyrinth we negotiate, isn't it?

for some reason i recall the great philosopher who said, "...we forgot the crackers, gromit!"

[blip]...

ah, anyway...or maybe your own personal ezra might help.

your low surf at sandys today Maqroll

Psychedelicate Girl said...

Don't worry. We only expect perfection. No pressure.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered collecting discarded human ears?

anne said...

This won't make you feel any better, but I wish I knew how it feels to be at the rewrite stage... Bon courage !

Geo said...

More drinking = puddles 'neath your chair pad?