I began composing about the story I d been trying to compose, exposing my worries about it.
So I broke the 4th wall and began blogging about the typo. And then typos in basic. And after that my family.
I did a strange, weird thing Sunday.
I did get some stuff off my chest in the piece, but there was absolutely nothing forbiding me from getting that things off my chest in my own journal and submitting the real story for the contest.
I had to select one. BOGO
” The story I was trying to write, before that typo tripped me, is super-dumb,” I wrote. “Youre probably the same individual who read the other one I sent. I like that story. Do you? Please judge that a person alone and forget this ever occurred. That story shouldnt be guilty by association with whatever this has turned into.”.
It wouldve been just as easy– easier, even!– to just complete and send out in the original version of the story, which, while bad, at least wouldve had a not-zero (though a not-far-above-zero) shot at winning.
Conversation concerns: In what method( s) do you self-sabotage as a writer? How do you avoid self-sabotage? Those times when you cant handle to prevent it, how do you set yourself right again?
As I was retyping the selected story into my submission doc (part of my modification procedure), I made a typo. It was an interesting typo, a Freudian typo, something befitting the style of the story.
At that point, all hell broke loose. By the end I was pasting passages from a book I d deserted 3 years ago. I deliberately reviewed the optimum word count, and closed with this:.
In other (briefer) words, I made certain that my story had a 0% opportunity of winning, and then sent it.
” The excellent news is, Im far over the word count max! Thank you for reading it anyhow.”
Haha, what ?!
I like that story. Do you?
For weeks I d had a story prepared, one I actually liked. I considered sending out just that story, however the standards allowed two submissions for one entry cost, and I understood my Depression-baby papa would spin in his grave if he knew I d passed up on a 2-for-1 deal.
So as the due date approached, I adjusted this, played with that. I wrote 3 more stories, and I despised them all. Similarly! If the awfulness of any one of them would take some of the shine off the excellent one, and I could not assist however wonder.
So, why did I do this? Im sure Ill never know. As quickly I hit “submit,” I sat back, looked at the page, and stated, “Wait, what just taken place?”.
It was some type of self-sabotage Ive never ever before experienced
Deliberately breaking a routine.
Abandoning task after project.
Self-criticizing into paralysis.
Not asking for help, or asking for excessive assistance.
I imagine each people has experience with at least one, if not most (all?!?!), of the more common kinds of writer self-sabotage:.
Which of these forms of self-sabotage are you most susceptible to? Do you fall victim to any that I didnt include?
How do you avoid self-sabotage? Those times when you cant handle to prevent it, how do you set yourself right again?
Lets discuss it below
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For weeks I d had a story prepared, one I really liked. I thought about sending out only that story, but the guidelines enabled 2 submissions for one entry cost, and I knew my Depression-baby father would spin in his tomb if he understood I d passed up on a 2-for-1 deal. I composed three more stories, and I abhored them all.” The story I was trying to write, prior to that typo tripped me, is super-dumb,” I wrote. I like that story.
WriteByNight writing coach and co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has discussed books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others