HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE…literally the other side. I’m writing from the foot of my bed. It smells better than you might think down here.
But let us not waste time on pleasantries (if you can call discussing foot odour a pleasantry). We have serious business to discuss. Namely, how the fuck deadlines work.
I started writing this piece-of-shit story of mine in July, right; and as a novice writer (I mean, I’ve been writing creatively since I first discovered that the pretty squiggly lines inside picture books actually meant something, but this is my first real, serious project), I figured that the only way I was going to work past my hourly cringe attacks was by giving myself a deadline. It was summer vacation. I was only taking three summer courses in school and volunteering 3 hours/week. I had time. So, I gave myself a deadline of October 1st. Three months is plenty of time to write a book, isn’t it? Ninety days, at a rate of ten pages/day is a 900 page behemoth!
See, I discovered that it is physically impossible for you to write ten fucking pages a day! That’s 5000 words! Soooooooo much NOPE!
So, back to the drawing board. Drawing- gross.
(image credits go to https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460000549419636938/ )
I started writing five pages/day, a feasible task- except for the days in which the weather is too pretty to write, or when writer’s block takes you gently by the hand and smacks your stupid fucking face into a brick wall because you didn’t outline your shit.
Really Ella, get your shit together, I told myself as my brain kept pummelling me while I nursed my broken face from my collision with the wall. You can meet your deadline, all you’ve got to do is focus.
I fully give you permission to fall on your face laughing at this point.
Why, you ask?
Well, you know how some people can just stare at a screen with laser vision eyes all day, barely glancing down as their fingers fly across the keyboard weaving images of bedazzling bumblebees?
I’m not one of them.
Firstly, I dislike bees. I don’t hate them, but their buzzing makes my skin crawl. Secondly, and more importantly, my focus is fucking amazing- for all of two seconds. Then, I get distracted by a crack in my wall and my imagination goes down the rabbit hole of philosophy. I become Aristole, debating whether humanity can ever truly find completeness in themselves while the crack in this wall persists. Is there life on other planets? Perhaps there is, but this crack right here is preventing the aliens from making contact, and stopping us from detecting their super-intelligent presence.
The crack in the wall is ruining my life.
Despite all the forces against me, the story is done. It’s not worthy of being called a story at this point, much less a book. But hey, it’s got words in it- it’s important to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.
I shall henceforth call my writing project the Dark Cloud.
No, that’s a stupid name- Thingy with the Jiggy is much better.
So, what enables you to focus? Is there some sort of magic solution to repair the synapses in my brain that got dislodged when I started writing, enabling me to stare at a blank page for hours on end without any ideas about what to put on the page?
Until this hypothetical solution presents itself to me (no, it’s not allowed to be a shot of vodka- I already tried that, and I just fell asleep. Sadly, drooling isn’t the most attractive look for me), I will continue beating my mind into compliance with my wishes. I plan a dictatorship, where I am the boss-tyrant-person and my brain is the people. Eventually, it may knock me off my throne, but for a few blissful hours, I will be the asshole, and my brain will be the one who has to deal with the constipated ball of shit that comes out.
At this point, if you feel disgusted at all, you will understand my emotional state as I re-read my work on Thingy with the Jiggy. Therefore, I feel zero sympathy with your plight as you read that metaphor. Zilch. Nada.
(I’m so sorry, honestly!)