Friday, 25 January 2013

Stickybumitis - Where Do I Catch It? - Tamsyn Murray

I have a deadline. It's one those scary, imminent ones, the kind that makes my stomach contract every time I think of it. The only solution is to sit at my computer and write. I know I'll enjoy it once I get going. So why will I do almost anything to avoid doing the actual writing?

What I need is something to stick my bottom to my chair until I've done my daily quota (currently around 2000 words; tomorrow, it'll be 2200, because I haven't managed the required amount today). But with so much distraction out there (see Liz Kessler's post yesterday for details), how am I supposed to concentrate long enough to write? I don't have access to an isolated cottage in the woods\by the sea\in the mountains. What I really need is to catch Stickybumitis.

The symptoms of Stickybumitis are very similar to its sister disease, Stickybackitis, where sufferers cannot get out of bed, usually in the morning. With Stickybumitis, you're confined to your seat and can't spend thirty minutes sorting out washing when you should be writing. If you switch off the internet, you're not tempted to Google the people you used to fancy at school and even solitaire gets boring after six or seven hours. Faced with no other source of entertainment, you'll write.

Of course, the main problem with Stickybumitis is that it leads to complications. In many cases, it causes another condition - Writer's Arse. The only cure for that is exercise, which leads you away from your desk and you're right back where you started. But it's a chance I'm willing to take. Where do I catch Stickybumitis?

What extreme lengths are you prepared to go to for writing? And is your bottom print expanding as a result?

9 comments:

Clémentine Beauvais said...

Oh dear! I can't give you the syndrome per se, but I can help... Download Cold Turkey - or Self- Control if you're on a Mac - it's an Internet-blocking software. I couldn't write without it!

Good luck! Don't let the interests raise another day, it does sound pretty scary :)

Penny Dolan said...

A nice thought to start the morning! Something to be wished for, Tanya, but only if Stickyatis is available too. Otherwise it becomes the worst shame of all, Non-Writers Arse. :-)

Using a timer for both the non-writing "things to do" as well as for writing time can help. As, no doubt, can having to do the school run.

Susan Price said...

Get a timer. Make a deal with yourself. 'I don't want to write - hate the thought of starting - but I could manage five minutes. Five minutes doesn't seem too bad.'
Set the timer for five minutes. Start writing - doesn't matter what, or how good or bad. You've just got to keep that deal to write for five minutes. It's not very long and you can stop as soon as the bell rings.
The bell rings. You carry on writing to finish the sentence. And then carry on. Hour and a half later you're still writing. Works (almost) every time.

Ann Turnbull said...

Snow helps. Icy pavements are a big disincentive to go out. But then you whizz around avoiding Writer's Arse & Back by doing the laundry, which always takes longer than the last stretch of writing. And then it's always time for lunch. I have a tight deadline and a lovely little hen-shaped timer. After lunch I'm going to take Sue's advice and switch her on.

Lynne Garner said...

Sue beat me to it with regards to the timer tip. I don't have a timer so I set the timer on your phone. instead. I keep promising myself to get a fun timer (in the shape of something whimsical) but haven't managed it yet.

If I need to write say 2,000 words I break this down into chunks and have a break when I reach say 500 words - obviously you need a good place to be able to stop. Go off walk the dog, make myself a hot chocolate then sit down until the next 500 are done.

Ann Turnbull said...

Actually I often find that the problem is not getting started but getting stuck. This morning, despite starting on time and having a synopsis and chapter plan, I just didn't achieve much. Kept changing my mind and finding unexpected problems that needed thought rather than actual writing. Not sure that getting too fixated on the number of words written really helps (although I do keep a tally).

My hen timer is from Betterware, Lynne. Very cute.

adele said...

The Germans have a term for it and I apologize if I spell this wrongly. I don't actually KNOW German; SITZFLEISCH. Sitting flesh...
My advice: leave a sentence unfinished from the last thing you write...if you read it over next day, you WILL want to finish the sentence. This is not my idea but Graham Greene. Works every time for me...like an unresolved chord in music. Good luck with your deadline.

RMIvory said...

I love the idea of leaving a sentence unfinished. Will be using that in the future.

Stroppy Author said...

Every time I leave a sentence unfinished, I forget where it was going and end up having to delete it. But I am on ABBA instead of going to the UL to write - bye!