A (Terrible) Writing Process

Flickr / Alagich Katya
Flickr / Alagich Katya

Wake up at varying times every morning, depending on whether or not the night before your brain: 1) decided to cooperate and shut down at a decent time or; 2) decided to think all the thoughts that have ever been thought in the history of thinking.

Feel panicked almost immediately. What will I write? I have all day, but is it enough time? Where does time go? What is time? Is time an illusion?

Check Twitter. Scroll mindlessly. See no new favorites or retweets. Feel like no one likes you or your writing and what’s the point of it all?

Check Facebook. Scroll mindlessly. Look at a message and don’t respond, because time. There is never the time.

Look at email. Read every email, mark all as unread and answer like one email maybe and leave the rest for later.

Open up a blank document. Stare at it for a while. Like more than a while. Whatever “a while” is, double that. That’s the proper amount of time to stare and write nothing. Stare at the Blinking Cursor of Doom. Why is it taunting you?

Watch it blink. Dare that bitch to blink. (It blinked. All it fucking does is blink, blink, blink.)

Check Twitter.

Check Facebook.

Curate the most perfect playlist that has ever been curated. Start the first song. Listen to the first song. Realize the first song is the best song and is actually the only song you want to listen to and is the sole reason you created the playlist. Repeat that song for like the next thirty-seven hours of your life until your ears bleed.

Return to: Blinking Cursor of Doom.

Maybe write a sentence. Delete that sentence. Write another sentence that you think sounds better than the sentence in your head then realize that sentence you just wrote is a terrible sentence because all you really want to say is the sentence that’s in your head but you’re scared of that sentence because that sentence is raw and it’s easier to be poised and coiffed and chipper and joyful and positive (positive!) instead of raw. Vulnerable.

Vulnerable.

Fuck.

Okay. Nooooooooope.

Check Twitter.

Check email.

Check Facebook.

Check Instagram.

Look up flights to Bali.

Look up flights to wherever you can see the Northern Lights.

Look up hotels at the Niagara Falls.

Check the Pinterest account you haven’t ever used but like maybe there’s a new pin on there or something. Realize you don’t really understand Pinterest.

Check to make sure you don’t have something better to do than write that raw sentence, like maybe you have a dentist appointment for a root canal followed up by a trip to the DMV at 5pm when everyone is there and then maybe after that you’ll get a late night pap smear or something more enjoyable than writing that raw sentence.

Check calendar to make sure you don’t have any appointments coming up in the next ten days or so. Just to make sure.

Check phone to see if anyone called or left a hundred hour voicemail you can listen to which will perfectly distract you from the Blinking Cursor of Doom.

Make a snack.

Run out of coffee and be like, “I can’t write without coffee!”

Make coffee.

Wait for the coffee to kick in. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait till you can’t wait any longer.

Loathe yourself for a minimum of thirty minutes. Complain about mundane shit to a friend on gchat.

Check Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Tumblr. Livejournal. Myspace. Xanga. AOL screenname BaBiGiRL85@aol.com. Find old pager and check pages.

Run out of shit to check.

Ok, Blinking Cursor of Doom. Let’s do this. Ready. Set. Go! Go. No, seriously, write the damn thing. Write it. WRITE IT.

Deep breath. Pity party. Another deep breath. Loathing. Pretentious torture. Get over yourself. Write the fucking thing. Write it. Just write it. You know you want to write it. Just writeeeee itttttttttttt ohhhhh myyyyyyy goddddddddddddddddddddddddd.

Read a book and feel inadequate about your own writing ability. Feel properly convinced you’ve never written anything good ever in your life ever. Loathe a bit more just to sort of round out the day. Question all life choices.

Let many, many hours go by. Watch the sun go down. (Update: still nothing written. Fuck that Blinking Cursor of Doom.)

Go to sleep. Lay in bed for an hour. Toss. Turn. Get a drink of water.

Aha!

Sit down at desk. Look at clock. 1am.

Write the sentence. TC mark

Like this article? Check out Jamie Varon’s book here.

Jamie Varon

Writer • Hit me up: Twitter & Facebook

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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