I was going to start this essay with “How hard is writing a book?”. Then I realized I wouldn’t blindly take your word for it anyway. Plus, starting this off with a rhetorical question belies my purpose, so I figured I’d start with something that better represents me: explaining why I didn’t start with what I didn’t intially want to start with. Point is I’m not starting this essay with “How hard is writing a book?”
I’ve started writing a book.
Moving forward I’ll post drafts of my writing rather than agonizing over posting something I’d be proud of: I always find at least one thing that disgusts me about my writing, so posting something I’m completely content with means I’ll never post anything—that’s why I haven’t posted anything for so long… Understanding my current writing routine should clarify matters:
My Writing Routine
- Start my 9 min. countdown timer.
- Put (and keep) my hands on my keyboard for the duration of the countdown.
- Start freewriting using the first thing that comes to mind.
- Transition from freewriting to writing something more coherent.
- Edit what I’ve written.
- Reread what I’ve written (and edited).
- Rewrite parts of what I’ve written.
- Edit my writing again.
- Get disgusted by my writing.
- Furiously delete (nearly) all that I’ve written.
- Calm down using a coping strategy.
- Repeat from Step 1
You might be surprised to learn this yields an essay with a word count of zero.
NOTE: I doubt it actually surprises you, but here we are.
That’s not something I can post in good conscience, so I don’t. I must change something about my writing process since I’d like to actually accomplish something impactful with my writing. Steps 1-5 look okay to me. I can’t really say anything negative about any of them. Step 10 kills the post—that’s what happens when I delete my writing. Going from step 9 (disapproving of my writing) to step 10 (deleting it) takes no time at all, so changing anything after step 9 doesn’t solve my problem… Step 8 (where I edit what I’ve written from start to finish during that session) is the last point where I can intervene, which showed me that rereading what I’ve written is where everything goes to sh—point is, I must intervene before I start feeling disgusted. This led to me to my current decision: game myself.
NOTE: Initially, I considered calling it "playing myself," but that sounded too close to "playing with myself"—which sounds too lewd for my (current) purposes... I considered using "oneself," instead of "myself," but that just made me sound both lewd _and_ pretentious... I considered "gaming by myself" too, but that just sounded bleak and lonely: it conjured the image of a stereotype I never want to be—the sort that finds chip crumbs on their shirt, sniffs their armpits to ensure they smell "acceptable," and places their entire self-worth on tearing others down anonymously... Note within a NOTE: I always act with a goal in mind: being lewd is a tool that I don't need right now. Regarding hygiene, portraying myself as unhygienic serves as a lie without a purpose, especially considering my OCD... Finally, I don't see the point of tearing people down aimlessly, but if I'm tearing someone down I want them wholly aware I'm doing it...
How am I gaming myself?
Given all that, I’ve settled with “gaming myself.” Though that sounds like I’m practically scamming/hustling myself, it sounds better than the alternatives…
NOTE: As this series continues this'll make more sense. If unclear, this series is about things I do automatically (e.g. intrusive thougths).
I hate wasting time—this includes wasting others’ time. That’s what I’m exploiting. Once I post something, I accept that someone might’ve spent their precious time reading it. Deleting my work without external input at that point feels like I’ve wasted someone else’s time: that bothers me…
NOTE: If I'm spending my own resources on something, I'm relatively laid back. When I spend someone else's resources, my anxiety increases and I start wringing every drop of value out of it. For example, if I'm paying for my own dinner, I'll proceed how I usually proceed: order the first thing that comes to mind when prompted by the staff. If someone else's paying for dinner, the calculator comes out and I turn into the sort of miser Mr. Scrooge might chastise...
In other words, I can’t bring myself to delete a post without justifying it as more than “I hate my writing.” That’s why I intend on impulsively posting whatever I’ve written before I edit my work from start to finish the second time. I.e. post after step 5.
It’ll yield less-polished posts, but it’s better for my purposes overall. People receive my stream-of-thought style much better than I expected—even well enough that it’s become my default. It’s not the feedback that’s the problem; it’s my self-criticism.
NOTE: It's not you, it's me.
NOTE 0: I’m supposed to promote myself here. Share, like, comment, follow, yell at me via email (please make any vitriol entertaining—though ideally, no vitriol would be nice), and more (please see NOTE 96).
NOTE 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually…