Sunday, 19 June 2011

Battling my Brain

This time last Sunday I was gearing up for a whole week of dissertation writing, where the words would flow effortlessly onto the computer screen and my characters would come alive in my mind.

That's what I get for having high expectations.  Long live the pessimist!  You're either always right or pleasantly surprised.

My wonderful plan hasn't exactly matched up with reality.  I did manage to complete Chapter 2 (which, due to restrictive word counts for the PP assignment, was over a thousand words shorter than it needed to be) and I have written around 1,500 words for Chapter 3.  I suppose I ought to be thankful that I wrote that much, but the number of words isn't really my main problem.

In theory, I like my story.  The subject, plot and main characters are what I want them to be and it is something I would normally find no problem bringing to the page.  And yet, here I am, not having written a word of it today because I just don't feel inspired to do so.

I was writing something else earlier in the week - just some mindless drivel that could never be used for anything vaguely meaningful - but I was nonetheless motivated to do it.  I got that feeling of needing to write it, of being so into the story that I just had to get it down.  I wrote around nine thousand words of this in one day.  And yet in a week I can only manage a fraction of that for the thing which is important.

Perhaps this is the problem.  My subconscious mind is so damn contrary that it will not, under any circumstances, allow me to do something which might actually be useful.  Because I must write this piece for my dissertation, suddenly I don't want to.

It was the same in my first term of undergraduate uni.  I barely spoke to my housemates because there was this huge pressure (in my crazy head) to make friends.  As soon as I made the decision to leave, the whole idea suddenly became much easier and the last week I spent in halls was the best of all the months I'd lived there.

Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that telling my brain to 'stop being insane' isn't really going to work.

I want to try and get something done with it this evening, if only just a paragraph or two so that I actually feel like I've made some progress, however minute.

Because I've just spent this entire blog post having a whinge, I want to end on a positive note: last night I saw X-Men: First Class and it was AWESOME!

Yeah, I'm a nerd - and damn proud of it.


  1. IMHO, you are doing remarkably well! My proposal was constructed at the rate of one word every fifteen minutes. I think I have been sitting at this computer since 1944. (There may be something wrong with that statement.)Now if War and Peace had been done at the rate of one word per fifteen minutes, how long would that have taken I wonder. Ooh, must Google...

  2. Oh and yes, it is a crazy head. Very crazy head. But we love you anyway. Hope that helps!