Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Everyday Writer I Ain't

You spend any time among authors and you hear a lot of advice on writing. Much of it has to do with the oddly yet aptly monikered habit of BICHOK. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. The belief is that the proper, disciplined, career-oriented writer needs to write every day. Anything less, and you're just a wannabe.

Well, anyone who has been paying attention to my word meters ===> to the right will have noticed they aren't zooming into the stratosphere of late.

Okay, let me clarify. I have been writing plenty, mostly making a pain of myself on other people's blogs and forums, offering my opinion even (perhaps especially, hehe) when I know it might not be appreciated. And I've been doing a little proofing of my WIPs, tweaking sentences and trying to get back in the mood. But to be honest, I don't think I will get back into the required brainspace for writing fiction until after my cousin's wedding on the 20th, when most or all of my invading hordes--I mean, visiting relatives--will head back home.

According to prevailing wisdom, I should live by the code of BICHOK. I should sit in my chair every day and make myself write, even if all I produce is crap. But I just can't make myself do this. It seems like pointless self-flagellation to force out words when I'll likely just end up deleting them anyway. It isn't as if I haven't tried this exercise in futility. But writing scenes that start out as garbage and end up that way, too, can't help but make me doubt my abilities as a writer--and honestly, this business already provides writers with enough reasons to doubt themselves.

Plus, forcing myself to do stuff I don't wanna do is NO FUN.

I write in spurts. I'll spend weeks daydreaming and getting nothing accomplished, and then BAM! I'll finally sit down and bang out 15 000 words in a few days. I know myself better than any self-appointed expert ever will. Taking a day or a week or a month off will not be the end of my career.

So a big NYAHHH! to prevailing wisdom. I'm not your BICHOK. I don't have to do what you say. Those word meters will move when I'm good and ready.

For now, I'm off to Dear Author to see if I can't annoy someone I don't even know. Wheeeee!


Seeley deBorn said...

I haven't written in almost 2 weeks. Those BICHOKs can kiss my ass.

kirsten saell said...

Hee, Seeley, and I thought I was bad.

Well screw 'em. Bunch of effin' bichoks. That's gonna be my new favorite curse-word. "Up yours, bichok!" Wonder how long before it enters common usage...

Madame Butterfly said...

OMG, I’m so a BI(t)CHOK and I don’t even write. This is how I waste my days away slothfully having fun!

Wow, someone been on your case? You tell them! Who ever those BICHOKS are.

You seem to be doing fine with your system. I’m all for playing and doing what you want to. Besides which, your fun is my fun. I get to be entertained by you messing around on other blogs.

laughingwolf said...

gopher it, kirsten... i do the same

days, i don't FEEL like doing squat, others, i couldn't DO squat, no matter how hard i try... comes a time i sit on my butt and churn it out, forgetting to eat/sleep... it may not set the world on fire, but damn it, i DID it!

that's the prob with generalities, they work for generals, not privates, first class ;)

Another Suburban Mom said...

I mean supposedly Tennessee Williams wrote every day, but he probably needed something to give him a break between the booze and pills.

Live life,thats where the inspiration comes from!

kirsten saell said...

Wow, someone been on your case? You tell them! Who ever those BICHOKS are.

No one specifically, MB. But there is this insinuation that if you don't make yourself write every day, you're not a real writer. ("Stephen King only takes two days off a year, now that's a REAL writer!") Well, good for him, but that's not how I work.

I do know some writers who make a point to write every day, rain or shine. They do it because that's what works for them, and that is totally cool. But if I did that, half of what I write wouldn't be fit for even my mom's eyes (and that doesn't mean extra dirty, jeez, get your mind out of the gutter, MB, lol!). And I'm starting to think that some writers who run hot or cold like I do force themselves sometimes, and that leads to the odd lame book by an otherwise excellent author.

And as I said, it is rare for me to not write at all--I'm almost always out there in blogland making trouble of some kind in someone else's yard.

days, i don't FEEL like doing squat, others, i couldn't DO squat, no matter how hard i try...

Exactly, laughingwolf. It just makes me mad to force it, and it never results in a decent product anyway. So I take a break, do something else, and then all of a sudden I shift gears and I'm flying again. Part of me thinks if I did force it, maybe the gear would never shift, and I'd be stuck for good.

but he probably needed something to give him a break between the booze and pills.

Hee, Suburban Mom, with me, what usually comes between the booze and the pills is the hangover. And yeah, I suppose if I was single, I could have all kinds of time to write. But writing always comes at a cost. Something else in my life has to give--housework, time with kids, time with the husband, the yard, my one remaining real life friend who still lives in this stinking jerk-water burg and whom I haven't actually seen in more than three weeks. According to my kids, I have occasionally been known to neglect grocery shopping while in creative mode. Don't see why the little buggers can't live on beer and cup-a-soup like the rest of us, but...LOL

laughingwolf said...

lol...yeah, 'what's the matter with kids today...'???

kirsten saell said...

They're totally selfish, that's what's the matter with them. They think the world revolves around them, but if they were paying attention, they'd realize it's all about me. Me, me, ME!


laughingwolf said...

but of COURSE it is! knew it all along, i did! ;) lol