Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Writing for other people, writing for me

Yesterday morning someone I'm writing a book with called at 7.15 to see what I'd done since we last talked. The answer was: nothing--there are reasons (I thought he was going to call me, for one) but I felt incredibly guilty. I ran downstairs (yes! I now have a DOWNSTAIRS), made tea, ran back up to my desk and started working.

I worked until it was all done, concentrating completely, not goofing off, and then emailed it off to him, 6 1/2 hours after he'd called me.

I NEVER do my own work this way. I dawdle and delay -- in a way, that makes sense; my agent has 4 unsold mss. of mine, feeling no one is ever going to read anything I write isn't completely irrational....but what if I approached my own work the way I approach freelance jobs? I'd finish my novel so fast!

So I:

1) sent myself a voicemail, asking me what I'd done since yesterday

2) turned this on when I started writing: silly-looking and sounding, but the state of mind I do want to be in --

3) and, if I start to dawdle, will listen to this

IT WORKS! It's probably like a diet, I'm determined to do it so all I need are the external reminders. What I'm determined to do is finish my novel, working, as Scotty says, "as fast as I can." (But do listen to that oily voice that prompts his comment.)

btw I am NOT a Star Trek fan: one of the kids I babysat for had the toy, and I thought it would make a great motivator: funny but serious. It does make me laugh, but it also makes me remember what I'm supposed to be, and want to be, doing.


alvinaling said...

What is that little guy saying? Is that supposed to be Scotty?

I'm happy to give you deadlines and calls if you want more external reminders!

Libby Koponen said...

He is shouting, in a Scottish accent:
"I'm giving it all she's got, Captain!"

The clip has an oily, Hal-like voice saying,
"We're running out of time, Scotty," and Scotty shouts back hysterically,
"I'm working as fast as I can!"

Do these not play on your computer? They play perfectly on mine and sound really funny.

And THANK YOU Alvina. I think I will take you up on that! Let's talk about it the next time I see you. THANK YOU.


Libby Koponen said...

Do the sounds play on anyone's computer besides mine? They're not on my computer -- they're downloaded from the Web each time -- but I'm babysitting and they don't play here! Do they on your computer?

Meghan McCarthy said...

They play on mine but I couldn't understand what on earth the guy was saying until you explained!