Saturday, 26 September 2009

Yo-yo. Bye-bye.

I am a yo-yo.

I can't tell you how that compares to being, say, the walrus, or a rock, or an island, but there's something about about my wiring that makes any promise I make to myself or any mood I manage to get myself into become very intense but inevitably short-lived. Up, down, up, down, happy, sad, happy, sad, industrious, workshy, healthy-eating, binger, chilled-out, laid-back...unlike my long-(well not that long)suffering partner, I don't do consistent.

If that sounds like I'm having a go at myself, I'm not - one thing I've learned in my thirties is that Work With What You've Got is a very liberating thing indeed. I work well when I set myself small but intense challenges. This is as true for writing as for anything else. Recently I've been hating the amount of aimless web surfing I've been doing while I'm in this tricky, halfway part of my novel. A bit of Facebooking and Twittering and Blogging is a great way to unwind before a big writing session, but when the number of words I write on either one exceeds what I've racked up on the book, and when I know I'm only looking for excuses, I need to get unstuck from the rut.

So for one week, starting this evening, I'm going to pretend I don't even have an internet connection. No looking through the wedding photos of people I don't really know on Facebook (come on, you've done this, right?), no staring at Twitter trying to think of something pithy to say and kicking myself every time a tweet from Grace Dent or Caitlin Moran pops up because I would need to spend a lifetime at Funny School to get anywhere near their 140-character stand-up routines, no thinking out loud on Blogger, no Googling my novel, no Googling people I haven't seen in years. Complete ban.

Binge dieting isn't such a good idea, but binge writing can be a very fine thing indeed. See you in a week.

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RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for sharing Emily.
Have a great productive week.
All the best,

Tam said...

Ha! I do one of these bans Every Single Day. Before you go, am sending you some Word Dust (with added glitter) via the magic of Twitter.

And that last bit even rhymes, so you have no excuse for not using it.

Be good. I expect a word-count update when you get back...

Debs Riccio said...

Great idea, Emily - think I tried that once and went all cold-turkey with the feeling of isolation - but phew - there still WERE people 'out there'.
Go for it - I'm cheering you on from the sidelines!

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Hi Emily,
I was at a course a few weeks ago where Alison Bradstock who ran the course said she writes for two hours every morning and doesn't allow herself to turn on the internet in any shape of form until that's done. I thought, what a great idea. Have I done it? WHat do you think?! x

Kellie AHl said...

Goodluck Babe! You've inspired me to embrace my yo-yoing.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Emily, I wish I could do this too! Good luck! But the, you won't be reading this, will you?

The Dotterel said...

Come back and give us a full report (with word-count) won't you? And don't forget - there's a way of twittering AND contributing to a book - #twitterbabytips. It's for charidee, baby!)

Emily Gale said...

Thanks everyone for the good wishes and magic word dust and for confirming that I'm not the only one with A Problem :)

It was a difficult task (it seemed to be the week that people wanted to send me "hilarious YouTube videos" that I couldn't watch!) but my output doubled so it was worth it... Has my addiction lessened after a week away? Naaah.