Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Me and my neuroses

Working on - latest Romance
Listening to: Albinoni - Adagio
Reading: Between The Italian's Sheets

I am carrying on today, getting a late start because of an appointment this morning and the husband was home until just a few minutes ago as his day is stretching long. We did get to have lunch together and walk the dog together though which was nice.

I was thinking this morning how writers can be really neurotic and how we simply require certain conditions to work. For example, I like quiet/lack of distractions. I can't always achieve it, but my favourite writing days are when I can put some classical low in the background, I am alone in the house, with no appointments, no phone calls...that solitude is BLISS.

More than that, though, I was thinking about what motivates me and why I either succeed or fail at focusing. It is a bit surprising, actually. Most people who know me know that I like to run the show. I have a vision of how things should go and when they need to get done. I think it is a case of not wanting to control other people, though, and more of a case of wanting to control the organization of the work so I know it will all get done, and done right. I have a habit of not trusting others to do it on their own too. It can be a big flaw. I wasn't so good at group work in school...I liked working alone, and if we had groups the other kids loved it because they knew I'd do the lion's share of the work and they'd get off easy. No way was I trusting MY mark to someone else's standards.

Like I said - a big flaw. Although I can think of times when I wish I'd been more diligent with group situations - because the few times I HAVE trusted people to follow through, it hasn't always ended up well..

I think it's more controlling work rather than people though because I can and do take direction. In fact I LIKE it. I enjoy people telling me what to do (don't let on to my husband, okay?). If I know, concretely, what's expected of me, I can then just DO it. It takes the ambiguity and guess work out of it. Here's what I need/you need to do. I can roll up my sleeves and launch in.

My appointment this morning was a little disappointing, because I was hoping for this kind of clear direction kind of advice. I was hoping it was a "do this and this and this and see me in a month". But it wasn't. I don't feel any further ahead. It's up to me to issue the directive, and I don't always obey myself as easily as I do other people!

Anyway this whole line of thought popped up after my agent e-mailed the other day saying how I sounded focused and energized since talking to my editor about stories. She's right.

And now I'd better channel that energy into some word count!


  1. Donna, i know what you mean. i hated group work too but i seem to thrive better when someone else gives me the directions.
    So maybe this will help?
    Today you are to write 2000 words. It's up to you what you do with it but 2000 is your task!
    hope this helps :)

  2. I was right there with you Donna not trusting the others to come up to scratch (is it any wonder I suffer from chronic fatigue??). I love being able to blame my flaws on the eccentricity of being a writer. It's out right! And it could be worse...

  3. With you all the way there, hon.

    I've just gone back to organising myself the way I used to when the kids were little/at nursery and time was limited. And hopefully that will help get me back on track...