Writing Excuses : I’m Too Tired to Write
As I write this, every bone in my body is telling me to go to bed. It’s 10.06 PM and I’m TIRED. I can almost hear the…
As I write this, every bone in my body is telling me to stop writing. It’s 10.06 PM and I SUCK. I can almost hear the bed, two floors above me, with its squishy mattress and seductive quilt calling me.
But alas, I promised myself I’d get this story written today and so I am forcing myself to stay up until I have at least something written.
But I suck too bad at writing to write.
That’s my brain piping up, trying to trick me into taking the easy way out.
But the fact is that suckiness isn’t a good enough excuse not to write.
At least, that’s what I’m trying to convince myself of. As I’m writing oh so shittily about it.
(So meta. and so sucky, so very, very, sucky)
The last few days I haven’t written much at all. At the weekend I was out and about exploring [redacted] where I’m currently [redacted], which involved trekking along beaches to find a stash of gold doubloons purportedly stashed in a cave near one of them by Dred Pirate Robert.
When we got back, I was exhausted and I let myself off the hook even through I had promised myself I was going to write every day of February.
I watched a movie instead. I can’t even remember what movie it was now. I can say without hesitation that it was the most productive and meaningful use of my time in the past three weeks.
I now wish I had ignored that little voice in my head that told me I deserved a rest, that beguiled me with excuses. You suck, the voice said. Here put your feet up, you deserve a rest. You’ll get to sucking at writing tomorrow.
Except tomorrow came and I didn’t get to writing any suckfest at all. Three days went by and I barely put pen to paper, because I let the excuses win.
Have you ever had those nights when you’re are so exhausted you have to prop your eyes open with matchsticks, but you feel so on fire, so inspired, that you keep on writing terrible, awful, shitty things deep into the night anyway?
And at some point, after about 30 minutes or so, you forget that you suck. Your inspiration somehow injects you with a burst of energy and tricks you into thinking that you might actually be OK or even good at writing, but it is wrong, you suck at it.
Your reason, your why, is so strong that it overrides your suckiness and wins out.
You don’t suck at writing; you blow at it.
The hardest part is always starting.
Remind yourself of your why. Think of your future self and ask whether he/she’ll be grateful that you pushed through and got the work done anyway. Then tell your future self to go fuck off, you know you suck and you don’t need any future you lording it over present you like some suck at writing suckface.
Then go have a cold shower, make a cup of tea, have a nap, meditate, go for a walk in the cold. Anything that makes you feel more alert.
And then sit down in that chair and write some terrible shit.
Just one word at first. Then two, three, four…
A line, a paragraph, a poem, a page. Whatever it takes to get the shit flowing again.
I often find that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and myself sucking at writing again.
But if it’s not then it’s okay. At least I’ve tried, I’ve pushed past the tiredness and the excuses, and I’ve accomplished something. Even if it’s only ten words. Even if it only sucks hard, and isn’t the suckiest thing anyone has ever written.
And that makes me a sucky writer :)