Life · Writing

The Art of Self-Sabotage

Over the last few weeks I’ve been pulling out all the old writing magazines I’ve collected over the years, combing through them for snippets of advice, especially as regards editing.

I’m not sure how much I’ve actually learned yet about that, but one article struck a nerve. It was all about self-sabotage. The unconscious variety. The small seeds of doubt and lack of faith in one’s own ability or story. The fact that suddenly all that housework (which one otherwise ignores) desperately needs doing. NOW. Or the house will explode, or the skies fall in, or something else just as dramatic.

Now I’m not what you might call an active person (though a walking challenge at work is informing me that even with a sedentary job, I still manage about 10K steps within the working day). But I like to stop and watch the ducklings, as it were. I’m more of a thinker and a dreamer. Not really a go-getter. That just seems like effort.

If you ask me, rushing headlong into anything without planning is inviting trouble. I like to plan. To make notes about this and that, though I don’t tend to carefully plot my writing.

While I read this article, though, it occurred to me that perhaps the title of this blog was an act of self-sabotage – What will be, will be. Not much scope there for hard work, just the whimsical desires of the Fates. I remember learning about this in Psychology – about internal and external loci of control – and thinking that I very definitely have an external loci.

So I’m going to be changing the name to something else. To 1001 Lives. Because there’s a quotation about readers living 1000 lives before they die, and I figure if I’m remembering to live them all, then perhaps I’ll become a bit more active with regards to my dreams.

But perhaps the best tip I came across over the weekend was from Terry Pratchett, which is simply this: Have fun.


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