distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Strange Writerly Behavior… Don’t Stare

I’m at that point in writing when I want to cry or laugh at inopportune moments—while sitting calmly at my desk, while crossing the street, on line at the deli buying a yogurt. My notes to myself in my calendar involve much profanity and can’t be quoted here. I’m at that point where I turn off all the lights and turn on a song and whirl around to it in the dark and then rush to the keyboard to set down a paragraph, pretending that didn’t just happen but it did because I just told you. At the point where I really need to dye my roots but I can’t care about that yet. At the point where I’ve alienated quite a few friends. At the point where I question everything. At the point where a letter in the mailbox sends me into a rage until I forget about it five minutes later. At the point where my clothes just can’t match. At the point where I don’t even watch reality TV anymore. At the point of talking to myself on the sidewalk. At the point where I can’t wash the saucepan I just used for dinner last night. At the high point of trying to write the best words possible, and everything else has fallen to the wayside.

I hope I still have a husband after this.

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10 responses to “Strange Writerly Behavior… Don’t Stare”

  1. funny, i act this way all the time.

    the curse of the artist–when in the midst of “it,” everything else assumes secondary or no importance. i’m probably not the best one to dispense advice, but maybe just tell yourself you’re going concentrate on taking care of the basic life things — food, hygiene, a few personal relationships — and devote yourself to writing for a fixed time, say, a week, and then see where you are then.

    of course, this can’t account for talking to yourself on the sidewalk. just don’t pick up any gum.

  2. I can relate. Are the revisions doing this to you or is it a new draft?

    I’m having revision-related panic attacks of the performance anxiety kind. If you have any tips, I’d be hugely grateful.

  3. You’re an absolute Godsend! I’m so glad to have fallen on your blog today, you described every feeling I have while falling into a story I so desperately want to write, and make them the best words I’ve ever written.

    I feel that stage starts again this evening, where I hide in my writing corner and don’t come out until I’m pleased and happy. Luckily I type fast and it takes a few weeks, I agree and pray too that my husband still wants to marry after each session is complete.

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