Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Maths is as important to writing as English ...


18000 / 70000 words. 26% done!

I have to treat my writing like a child. Coax it with little carrots, threaten it with big fat fucking sticks.

Next goal: 23,300 words - one third.

Another 5k, come on, come on.

I don't know what it is, this inbuilt sulky dipshit avoidance that goes on. It's the same impulse that makes me spark a fag when I know I'd rather breathe clean air or eat a piece of sticky cake when I'd really deep down rather have an orange.

My perversion, I suppose. Sabotage.

Which leads me back to carrots, one of the ways I treat myself. Every time I write, I'm allowed to find a good song on youtube. Sad, really.

But you know, if you've been chewing fingernails for too long and fidgeting in your seat and giving the blank page baleful glares and reading too much of the book section in the paper that's full of sniffy reviews and grand critics' declarations and declaimers, and spinning off into sideways tangents that might help you win at pub quizzes someday but will never really help you write the novel -




Sometimes the only way to kick-start this fucking huffy muse is with a dose of grinding drums and scratchy guitars. And swearing. Swearing definitely helps. If I had a car I'd drive it into cardboard boxes. As is, the Beastie Boys provide the same rush. That beat - does it every time. Anyone else got particular songs that rev the engine? Or should I be seeking hard drugs instead?

12 comments:

Jeremy Edwards said...

The frenzied musical euphoria of a track like "Paperback Writer" can act like a shot of caffeine for me. (And since I spent my entire teenhood listening to Beatles songs, I don't even have to resort to a CD, mp3, or record to hear them now—I just switch them on in my head.)

Jeremy Edwards said...

Ha! Can you believe I wrote about "Paperback Writer" without even thinking how relevant the title is to all of us? Duh.

Nikki Magennis said...

ooh, Helter Skelter does it for me. And 'why don't we do it in the road'. I like the Beatles at their most reckless, I think.

Sadly I seem to lack a musical on switch in my head, though!

cocaine jesus said...

writing isn't a problem getting published seems to be.

like jeremy i spent my childhood listening to the fabs. still have the double gatefold edition of the magical mystery tour EP (hey kids, what's an EP then eh?) that i bought in upminster, essex when i was 13.

Shanna Germain said...

*shakes her freaking pom-poms hard*

"Go Nikki, Nikki, Go! Go!"

If you're going to pull my hair, I'm going to yell annoying cheers at you until you sit down and start writing again.

"Gimme an N! Gimme an I!"

:) s.

Also, my word verification is ownmur. It sounds oddly sexy. Maybe it's the combo of "own" said in a murmur...

Nikki Magennis said...

Cocaine Jesus: Yep, it ain't easy! Luck and perseverance, I suppose. Although being willing to bend definitely helps.

(NB: I mean bend writing style/subject, not limbs/torso. Perhaps one could shag ones way into publishing, but it's never got me very far.)

(PS That was a joke.)

(PPS although Editor, if you're listening, I would maybe give it a bash.)

(PPPS That was really totally a joke.)

(Really.)

(Anyway, weren't we talking about The Beatles?)

Shanna: Thanks dear. I do love it when you shake your pom-poms at me. I just did 2,000 words. Does that get me a dance or a handstand? x

Just Craig said...

One of my favorite Beatles songs from my past was "Revolotion." I had it on 45 and played it over and over again on my cheesy little record player.

And let me add my pom poms to the mix, but let me add, as I so often do, I don't have the legs for the cheerleader outfit.

PS, my verification word is rumllxic. I think I'll have one.

Nikki Magennis said...

Why Craig! Your pom poms are even bigger than Shannas!

Thanks m'dear. Welcome to the Beatles on Vinyl cheerleader group. Rums all round.

Shon Richards said...

Placebo's 'Protect me from what I want" kicks my butt into writing every time.

I find that more so than music, that erotic art kick starts me. Looking at images without words invites me as a writer to fill in the blank space that is there.

Smut Girl said...

I'm a dweeb. Counting Crows. And they make me write a lot. See. Dweeb. Say it with me: You, Sommer,are a dweeb.

But! I have lovely purple pom-poms and I shall shake them too. "Go Nikki, Go Nikki! It's your birthday! It's your birthday!Rah, RAh Sis Boom Bah!"

{{am a dweeb}}
xoxo
S
p.s. oh my god! swear to god. imsxtzy is my word. why...yes i am sxtzy!

kathrynoh said...

I used to play the same CD for about a year or more when I was writing. I had a theory that I'd get so that the music would set off some Pavlovian response but really I was just too lazy to get up and change it.

Nikki Magennis said...

Shon - pictures, eh? Funny. I find I get too caught up in the visuals and forget what I was going to say.

Sommer - thank you m'dear! But, um, it's not my birthday ... Is that a cheerleader thing? Right! Jolly good! Ra-ra-ra! (and of course you are sxtzy. I didn't know you spoke Polish ; ) )

Kathryn - that's the kind of lazy I admire, right there! You win a gold star!