Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is there Viagra for writers yet?

For the longest time now I have been -- suffering is not the right word but I don't know a better one -- from what I can only describe as writing impotence. I have the desire to write. I have the drive to write. Ideas are humming and scenes keep playing themselves out in my head. But I can't seem to get the mechanics to work for me. I haven't even been able to blog and that's not exactly the most difficult thing in the world, now is it?. It's been driving me crazy. I've thought about it. I've tried ignoring it. And now I think I know why. Frustration.

When I first decided to write a book in 2006 the words leapt from my fingers, and yes, most of them were complete dross and everyone knows what happened to that story, but nonetheless it was huge fun and hard work and a joy. And at the same time I was happy and fulfilled at work too. Not overly busy, but that was because I had the systems I supported (payroll as it happens and you know how people do like to be paid on time) tied down so tight they squeaked. I was the only DBA supporting them and, as such, I needed to be sure I didn't get caught wrong-footed or called in the middle of the night unless it was an emergency that could not be foreseen. Things changed and I acquired a team of really nice, hard-working guys in India and I shared the workload that was increasing to a point where I couldn't handle it by myself and life was good and busy and I rewrote the original book and was happy and fulfilled. Even when I was editing the second attempt, even though I hate editing with a passion, it was fine.

I picked up other assignments. More work, on the road, busy, busy, busy. Setting up new systems so that they would perform well into the future, helping clients in the short term when they needed additional hands to bring a project to go-live. And then I was assigned to the client I am currently supporting. I love them... well most of them... like family. Great people who work hard and have fun and are a pleasure to work with most of the time.
But.
But their boss, the Director of IT, is so completely inept it makes my skin crawl. He doe NOT want to hear bad news. Does not want to know what can go wrong and how it can be averted. Does not want to hear that things are not and have not been done correctly, and most definitely does not want anything done to correct those past errors. He even pays people to fix the issues they have created and pays them over and over and over again as they mess things up even more. It drives me to distraction and my frustration level is off the charts and getting worse.

That is what is killing my writing. I recognised it over the weekend. I sat for a long time on the screen porch and just stared at the trees and though about what was different now compared to three years ago. And there it was.Frustration at work. There are some frustrations going on in my personal life too that I should have blogged about but haven't. I will. Now that I've written this I think... I hope... that I've broken the barrier. I don't think I'll be able to get back to Project Tevan today nor even tomorrow, but if I'm blogging there's a very good chance that I'll be able to pick up the story again and run with it.

So pass me a glass of water; I need to swallow my little blue pill and get on with what needs to be done.

6 comments:

Ing said...

Good to hear from you. And sorry to hear things haven't been going so well.

Seems to me that there are few places where a clown like that director dude could cause more havoc than in IT. I guess if nothing else there's the consolation that nobody dies when things go wrong (I hope not...do they?). Small comfort, though.

riotimus said...

As Ing said.

When that kind of thing happens to me I try to channel it into fiction. Maybe give one of your characters a scathing scene like you would like to make but won't because you are a professional. It can be rather . . . stimulating? . . . at least theraputic. Hang in there.

R.

Liz said...

Thank you, guys. It's great knowing that there are people out htere who are pulling for me. I will beat this thing. Tomorrow I'm going to write another blog post. Kinda stretching before I start the real race. Ah. Wait a moment. I remember hearing something about how that doesn't help at all and can actually do damage. Or perhaps I just dreamed it. I'm not athletic, so using athletic metphors is probably not a good idea.

riotimus said...

When it comes to stretching before a big event, it really depends on what kind of stretching you mean. People tend to do static passive stretches which actually have a cooling down effect on the athlete. Dynamic stretches are an excellent and important part of a warm up though. For more (if you or anyone else cares) try "Stretching Scientifically" by Thomas Kurz. It is an amazing resource for someone wanting to increase their mobility.

R.

Liz said...

Excellent. Thank, Riotimus. I'll definitely look that one up. I'm by no means as limber as I should be.

Theadra Leilani said...

Hey, good thoughts and prayers being sent your way. Just remember, three years from now, this will all be a memory too. And it sounds like you can only go up from here. That's the great thing about writing, it will always be there for you when you can handle it. It doesn't get mad, get even, or need revenge. It will be happy with however much time you can give it, and understand if you can't give any. Can you say that about anything else in your life? Didn't think so. Hang in there. It will get better. We all love you!!