It takes very little for me to cripple myself.
While I was employed in a lucrative day-job with a fair amount of free time, I convinced myself it would be Wrong to write while in the office. And lo, I could not write in the office. Even when I wanted to, the best I could do was development work. The actual work of prose narrative on screen was beyond my ability.
Currently, I’ve been delayed in continuing my edit of Matchbox Girls. And I’ve promised myself I’d finish Matchbox Girls and submit it somewhere before returning to Serial 13. So I have time dedicated to writing right now where I’m working on neither Matchbox Girls nor Serial 13. Instead, I’m toying with a third project. Because lo, I cannot work on Serial 13. My brain has decided that would be cheating, and it will do anything to distract me from cheating.
When I set myself a writing schedule, I inevitably develop a hang-up about writing outside the scheduled time. I’ll be interrupted, says my brain. I’m fortunate there, though– I’ve had a number of different writing schedules now and I don’t think it would be that hard to slip back into any one of them, as long as I was convinced I’d be able to scrape out 90 minutes or so of quiet time.
So far, I haven’t successfully pushed through a hang-up. In this case I’m probably not going to try. I’m keeping a writing habit going, and doing work that will be productive at some point and who knows if I’ll ever have time free of true deadlines in the future? But it’s worth being aware that I do have problems changing my plans when I commit to a certain order of actions, and try to keep myself flexible.
One day I’d love to hear about what kinds of writing hang-ups other people have.
ETA: Okay, I like this project I’ve created to work around my hangups that I’m developing hang-ups about continuing to work on it. I promised I’d do other stuff first! I can’t get attached! This is a fling, no strings attached!
I may have to work THROUGH a hang-up after all…