Killing the Inner Bitch

A little note before I start: this is the first instalment in Bitch-space, where I ramble on some about some of the shit holding me back from writing the way I want to. For the whys and wheres and hows, read on.

Bitch-space: 20 Jan 2023

Why do I have a great big blank in my head? Where are the words? What’s wrong with the muse? Am I putting too much pressure on myself? Should I be letting myself be more free with what I write? Would I be happier without the publishing schedule?

Speaking of… what happened to not scheduling shit until it was ready to go to Amanda? Looking at you Gamer. It’s almost ready, but not really, still some things to think about. And on top of this, I’m expecting myself to write 8 shorties in 8 weeks. Like… I don’t think that’s going to work. It’s a fabulous idea but I’m just not in the place at the moment to pull it off.

I have three months before I really need to get Short Bits 5 to Amanda, which is three months to write 3 more shorties without putting myself under pressure.

And what’s the whole aim of the shorties? To rediscover/keep alive the love of writing, and I’m not loving the shit I’m writing now. It’s a bit of a drag, to be honest. That is not the attitude to take into the writing zone. The writing zone is fun, it’s play. That’s what I need to chase, to nurture.

So… I’m going to break it to my peeps that the challenge is a bust, and why it’s a bust and hey, that’s okay. I’m just going to reschedule it for another time, later in the year.

And so what if I don’t hit my shorty writing goals for 2024? They’re goals, not fucking rocket ships or some such shit. I can change my goals whenever the fuck I like, however the fuck I like, and take that critical voice.

Knowing when to adjust your expectations (aka. quit) is not a failure, it’s a learning experience. I don’t keep trying to get my horse to be a quiet, sensible, bus-loving guy when it’s not his thing. The attempt just makes shit worse, so… why am I trying to make myself do the same?

New goal or like, whatever the fuck I’m calling it. Instead of pursing a word count this year, I’m going to pursue the joy of writing. I’m going to encourage myself to fall in love with it all over again and ditch this shitty thing that makes writing like pulling teeth.

It’s going to take some doing. I’m going to need to get over the whole “I gotta write this book! I gotta get it out!! OMG, what will my readers think of me?! They’re all dying (literally) to read my next fantabulous work!”. And then I gotta get over the Mr Smith “If you’re only writing 500 words an hour, there’s something wrong with you.” Mr Smith, I love your work, you’re a fucking legend, but in this instance, fuck you.

I’m going back to what I wrote way back when, “It’s not how fast you write or how much you write that matters, but how much fun you have.” There, that’s my new slogan. I’m gonna print that fucker out, laminate the bitch and stick in on my wall, and then I’ll print it on a mug. Who else is up for a mug? We totally need a mug.

So… what else am I gonna need to do to make this thing work? Sit my arse down and write. Duh. What’s the biggest obstacle to the endeavour? The inevitable “What the fuck to I write?” shit, the fear of finishing and the dreaded middle.

The what the fuck bit is kinda easy to get around, except that it does tend to go hand-in-hand with the dreaded middle. Those times, like now, with So Long and Thanks for all the Diamonds, when I started strong(-ish, let’s be real here) and then hit a wall. The dreaded middle leads into the fear of finishing, pretty sure, but I think the loudest component is the critical voice and it’s insistence that everything sucks and all the readers are going to think I’m a hack, track me down and plaster scathing reviews to my door, like toilet paper. Used toilet paper. Eeew.

So… how do I kill the critical voice bitch? An epic questions. Mr Smith tells me to write the next line, in pure defiance of the inner bitch. And that’s cool, that’s simple, that’s (theoretically) doable. I guess I just have to come up with another slogan to remind me to give that bitch the bird. How about “Give that bitch the bird. Go on, I dare you.”?

That could work. A second mug for that one, or maybe I’ll just plaster it on the other side of the mug, that way I can have both inspirational sayings with my tea. Hmmm. Thought.

(And see, see Mr Smith? I just wrote 850 words in 17 minutes flat, stuff that up your judgemental jumper, ain’t nothing wrong with me. Just my critical voice, which is a cast-iron bitch with a red hot poker. And really, I guess the person who needs to “see” that is me. Just me. Over here, at the keyboard, typing away with a fucking care in the world, wondering what the fuck she’s going to do with this remarkably clean lump of text. Blog post? Is it actually _interesting_ enough to be a blog post? And hey, maybe this is an excellent exercise for crushing the inner bitch. Post this random lot of crap and say to the world… “stuff this up your jumper!” He he. I like that. Need another mug for the jumper quote, just FYI.)

So, killing the inner bitch… a series of blog posts that are the result of stream-of-consciousness writing for 15 minutes (bit longer now, actually. I want to finish this thought/topic off), coupled with a rude yet inspiration mug, a poster and… a desire to no longer be held back by the bitch.

Challenge issued.

Challenge accepted.

Let’s do this.

Featured image courtesy of Alora Griffiths via Unsplash

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