Avoiding Writing

I’m very experienced at avoiding writing. I knew I was really avoiding the WIP when I shredded the to-shred pile, and started a loaf of pulla in the breadmaker… and now am I writing a week of surveillance and the follow-up strike? No, I”m writing an article for Mad Genius.

I did get a topo map printed for the area under question, and consulted with one of my three main sources for how the following recon and strike will go down; I’ll talk with the other two tonight. Calmer Half has a very different take on how to do anti-terrorist operations than the US Armed forces, that was rather puzzling me until LawDog pointed out that South Africa didn’t have air superiority in the war with Angola, while the United States is used to having air superiority in its battle spaces. If I have air superiority, I can count on dropping the strike force in from far away, and quickly pull them out the same way, instead of dealing with the logistics of supplying the recon from a forward base where the strike team is hiding until recon is finished.

…Which also means that later, when the good guys don’t have air superiority, the tactics will have to change. Oh, do I see that coming, or what? Bad muse!

I know what’s making me hesitate hard. I am not, and have never been, military. I never intended to write military actions from a military point of view. And my brain is sort of rebelling at the idea, even as it wants to do it. I’m trying to tell myself I have the best possible set of alpha readers and subject matter experts a girl could wish for, but…

I stare at the blinking cursor, and am overcome with a desire to go scrub the bathroom tile and reseal the grout instead.

Except if I don’t get something, anything written, Jim Curtis is going to look at me over dinner and ask where the next chapter is to beta read. Friends are so good for accountability…

And the more I think about that, the more I want to run away from this computer and clean out my fridge.

I’m sure you are all much better at the discipline and the writing and the adulting, aren’t you?

24 comments

  1. Hahahahaha! Yeah, hate to tell you this, but . . . discipline? Adulting? I’ve decided I’m post-adult which is a state of wickedly-aware second-childhood. It’s a state of doesn’t give a damn.

    But the trick, you see, is to get started. Just a few sentences wouldn’t be any big deal, right?

    Mind you, my subconscious’s method of avoiding work is to make me write something else. Which is why I have eight unfinished projects on my white board. Actually there are ten things, because I see I haven’t updated the board for months. Maybe I’ll start with that . . .

  2. Writing IS how I avoid doing the responsible, grown-up thing until I absolutely have to. Like . . . starting to move stuff out of my storage unit and getting rid of the furniture and other household goods that were in there. Like doing Day Job admin stuff.

  3. Do you have to write your story from a military point of view or the point of view of someone thrown in with the military? You did a fine job of the latter in “Going Ballistic.” You get the flavor of the personalities right which is far more important than the nth level of technical detail, not that I’ve noticed any errors there. Hopefully this is encouragement, since I’m really looking forward to reading whatever you’re writing.

    1. In this case, most uncomfortably, I do have to write it from the military POV. It’ll be a learning experience, I’m sure!

      And thank you, for the kind words. I tried hard, on Going Ballistic, and I at least have the experience of being the non-military person in my marriage, in my writing group, and often in the shop / around the coffee on the propane burner at the scratch strip.So I could draw on years of that… and will again, to try to get this right. write. written?

      1. > military POV

        That covers a lot of ground. There are lots of factors the politicians, general staff, and executive officers juggle that the guys on the ground never hear of.

        And sometimes there are other factors.

        In WWII the Allies lost a battle in Africa. The supply chain stretched across a third of the world, exquisitely timed and implemented. The Liberty ships were welded together around their cargos and guided across the Atlantic by defensive fleets, the troops arrived and forward bases were set up, and a mighty hammer was poised to smash the Afrika Korps.

        Except… at the shipyard, months before, someone made a decision. Some of the ships were carrying aircraft, knocked down into subassemblies, that were to be unloaded and assembled in North Africa. This person’s job was to load those ships as efficiently as possible, because every cubic inch and pound was important. So he had some crates reshuffled between ships, and the airframes were scattered across several hulls, and all the engines were in a single hull.

        Yes, the Germans sank it.

        And the Allied force attacked anyway, without air support, and the Afrika Korps handed them their ass. The Allies pretty much *had* to attack; there were no resources to reinforce and resupply them, they had no proper defensive weaponry or heavy equipment, and not all of them were in a position where they could make it to a defensible point to wait for rescue.

        The guys on the ground who survived being POWs likely never knew what happened until long after the war was over. All they knew was that somewhere upstream, something had gone badly wrong.

  4. Nice to know that all my incessant nags (er… respectful inputs) are appreciated by several authors.
    Gives me a purpose in life I tell you!

  5. Don’t ask me. I’m not terribly effective at either writing or adulting, except to note that the harder I try to force myself to do either, the more I rebel. My inner toddler “I don’t want to and you can’t make me” is awfully persistent.

  6. I’m sure you are all much better at the discipline and the writing and the adulting, aren’t you?

    Hahahaha. No.

    Of course, I’m not exactly Mr. Role Model, here.

    I’m avoiding two pieces of writing right now.

    Two vital details describing me: I bounce off tasks that seem hard, so just about everything becomes more difficult than it should be. If I do something I haven’t done in awhile, I’ve forgotten how to do it, am confused, and tend to invent a new way of doing it.

    My creative writing project that has been sitting forever, I’ve never found a working process. At one point, I hit upon the idea that I could use music to sort out some of the organization issues. Haven’t made any real progress in some time, but about half of my music listening is directed towards the project, despite having mostly abandoned the musical approach.

    A lot of the time, I /need/ music to get writing done, but not the lyrical stuff that I’ve been listening to for inspiration and for relaxation.

    Second was a weekend goal, of writing up something cool, that needs writing up. I also had two computer tasks on the machine I’m playing games on, a reading-with-notes task, and a type of practice. All ignored yesterday.

    I’m also been ignoring stories found on the internet, some of which I may enjoy reading, and some of which may inspire new creative writing projects.

    But today could be going worse, and my mind is now going a right direction. Thanks for the pointer to VNV Nation at Alma’s earlier this week. I think I like the ‘When is the future?’ music video.

    1. FWIW, I use a white noise-generating app when I really, really have to concentrate. I think it’s the “people talking in another room” file that fires up my inner introvert and makes it want to HIDE. 😀

  7. I have completely flunked Adulting for the last two and a half months.

    In future I propose to Cat.

    1. Bah! Adulting is for people who can’t handle fantasy and science fiction!

      (Does anyone else here remember John Bradshaw and his “champion your inner child” schtick?)

      1. Thank you, Francis!
        Maybe I’ll just work on releasing my Inner Cat. I’m already pretty good at curling up in soft places and demanding food, but the household’s actual cat informs me that he could write great books if I would just get him a claw-compatible keyboard.

    2. If only the cats weren’t hostages to my fortune (no matter how the old, arthritic one insists that she could take on the entire world, and hunt just fine, thank you), I, too, would Cat. Alas, alack, a Day Job…

  8. The leader of my writer’s group is fond of pointing out that we create entirely imaginary universes in our heads. Creating reasons we can’t write right now is comparatively a piece of cake.

    Although I will say that cleaning out the refrigerator seems a better way to procrastinate than most. First, it probably actually does need to be cleaned, so you aren’t wasting time in the long run. Second, you may run into a leftover/science experiment so disgusting that you’ll eagerly flee back to writing…

  9. I’m reading your post instead of calling a friend about that beta read I promised or doing that gantt chart that will help that project I promised to help. Sure, total focused adult, yep.

  10. I’ll help you avoid writing. You can come to MY house and scrub bathroom tile and regrout. We could use it. There’s even a convenient airfield a few miles from my house in Cambelltown.

    And afterwards, I’ll take you to Chocolate World.
    After you stock up on dozen or so flavors of Hershey’s Kisses, you’ll be able to tell yourself: one paragraph, one Hershey’s Kiss of a flavor I’ll never find locally.

    One Paragraph: One Kiss. But the magic only works if you’ve got special flavors and nut just plain old regular milk chocolate.

  11. I manage to write every day but I’ve been lax about quantity this year. Even putting down outlining as writing. sigh

  12. “I’m sure you are all much better at the discipline and the writing and the adulting, aren’t you?”

    Oh please. My characters have been doing nothing but kissy-face for weeks. It’s the end of the book, they’re all tired of the endless emergencies, and they’re on strike. (I blame them when things don’t move forward. When things do move, it’s because I’m a genius. ~:D )

    I’ll have to go back later and take out whole sections of moomoo-talk. But I write it anyway, because it’s restful and it makes me feel better that -somebody- is having fun, even if they’re imaginary.

  13. I’m sure you are all much better at the discipline and the writing and the adulting, aren’t you?

    That’s funny. I’m stuck and procrastinating. I did manage to figure out one issue and realized that running into it had been keeping me from doing the second set of edits. I think I got it now. But…adulting. Aw, hell no. I’d really rather not, thanks.

  14. Discipline? What’s that?

    If you’re writing something “five minutes into the future”, it’s worth noting that the good guys *start* with compromised comms, and with listening devices that the enemy controls are nearly everywhere.
    On the bright side, most realize this.
    But it does dramatically change how an insurrection would have to be waged.
    Command and control necessarily has to be decentralized. Best case, there are standing orders and an occasional broadband burst of “commander’s intent”, but transmission of such directives are almost certain to be compromised in very short order, and it’s a pipe dream that such command and control will be established before things go to hell.
    As such, the guerrilla actions will necessarily be cells based around affinity groups, developing their own information networks, and operating independently with no oversight.
    (Some idiot is going to trigger on the “no oversight” and start going on about “war crimes”, not realizing that guerrilla insurrectionists are committing a war crime by *existing*. After the first one, the rest are free. That said, guerrillas are forced to rely on the populace to shield them. As such, pissing off the populace is obviously poor strategy. You’d also want to pick away at the enemy’s morale, not encourage them to go scorched earth in an attempt to run you down. There’s a time and place for actual atrocity. The time is “almost never”, and the place is “somewhere you are leaving immediately”.)
    The lack of oversight and the difficulty/impossibly of recruiting replacements mean that troop welfare will take precedence over mission accomplishment in all but the most desperate times. As such, most kinetic actions will be sabotage, and assassination will be preferred to force-on-force contact.

    And I’m falling asleep in my ramble, so I’ll shut up now.

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