Thursday, 8 January 2015

'How to Write Everything'

I got a great book for Christmas, entitled 'How to Write Everything'. It's great stuff. It tells you how to write a screenplay, write an article for a magazine, write a novel...

Alas, it does not have a chapter on 'How to Write That Academic Article You Promised to Write Ages Ago (and Now Your Heart Isn't In It)'... (If only there was such a chapter, I would be so excited.)

A wise friend of mine once told me, 'If there is something you really really dread doing, then how about just... don't do it?... I was once supposed to make some changes in an article I was writing... and I just couldn't bring myself to do one particular part of it... and I thought, what would happen if I just - don't do it?... And I left it. And it never mattered.'

That's all nice, and that is actually very good advice, when you think about it; if it makes you feel a surge of dread and if the mere thought of it has you breaking out in hives, consider not doing it.

That's all very nice, but... I still feel like I have to do this article, which I promised to (and am contracted to) do. Somehow, I don't think a 'sorry, I just don't want to do it anymore', a month ahead of the deadline, will cut it.

Note to self: from now on, agree only to do those things which quite clearly bring me joy. Or maybe my note-to-self should be: from now on, say no to absolutely everything.