Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Would you rather stare down self-defeat or clean the oven?

An incredibly clean oven at Chez Manning

Do you have days when you realize you've achieved nothing. Zip. My ‘to do’ list sits forlornly on the counter top with not one thing crossed off. This is me. Pretty much every day. I look at my list and there’s thirty-three things on it. Why? Even if I could whip up a cloning machine and have seven useless copies of me running around, I couldn't cross off thirty-three things unless all of them said, ‘cross this off.’ One of the things I didn’t achieve today is ‘get cat food.’ Any minute now my ears are going to be assaulted by the wails of a cat who is going to go into cardiac arrest unless I feed him right now.

I've decided to go a bit Freud on myself. Stand back, it could get uglier than me trying to eat  peas (those things are evil and were put on this planet to taunt me). I called up my version of Sigmund and Sigmunded myself (that’s an awesome name, is Sigmund,) and talked to myself for ten seconds before I got bored. I came to the crashing conclusion that I’m a self-defeatist. I can defeat myself into anything. I could put it down to coming from a family where you only called attention to yourself if you were on fire, had a bone sticking out – and it had to be a femur, or a strange man wearing a trench-coat was chasing me offering up sweets if I’d help him look for his lost puppy. But I can’t blame my upbringing. Sigmund said non in a cool French accent. No, the sad truth is I always think I’ll fall flat on my face or will look ridiculous or will fail so I don’t try. Okay, so the session with Siggie went on for a bit longer and we're now besties, hence the name Siggie. So, instead of making myself write ten pages of my current WIP, I tell myself it will be so woeful and bad that I’ll come to the crashing conclusion that I’m a terrible writer and I should have abandoned this years ago and taken up composting. Take my blog. I literally stare at my computer every Monday, determined to write something awesome only to run from the room to clean the self-cleaning oven.


I've decided I need to beat down the demons in my brain and get out there and make myself do things. Like this blog. I’m going to post regularly and I will most likely bore my three followers including Uncle Lennie (Hey Len! How’s the pumpkin growing going?) but I am going to post regularly and I am going to make myself write every single day. I have to because Siggie said it’s the only way to defeat the demons.

Do you have any tips for a serial self-defeatist to break the cycle? I’d appreciate any before I go and clean the oven. Again.

 Philbert the cat who does not take politely to being denied food.