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Friday, October 25, 2013

Fortitude, and other things that totally suck

Fortitude. More like bore-titude, amirite? Perseverance? More like ... snore-severance?

Whatever. You get it. Fortitude, perseverance and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness are sometimes just really, really, really boring. Especially since these things are usually perceived as an extended effort against the forces of procrastination and non-action. There's this idea that fortitude cannot coexist with inaction. Well, I say codswallop. Sometimes, a sustained effort is just not worth the effort.

Not that you should give up and walk away. I'm all for fortitude in the long term -- getting around to it eventually. But I'm not all about this kind where people expect you to just keep pushing. Just keep doing a little bit everyday, whether you feel it or not. I'm not into the whole "fake it 'til you make it" fortitude.

Not a fan.  Not when it comes to writing.

To be honest, I'm not a fan of anything of the "do a little everyday" variety. People with the ability to wash the spoon instead of putting it in the sink, or to throw their socks in the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor -- to me, they might as well be flying or shooting lasers out of their eyes. They might as well be Superman, because they clearly are being given powers by our yellow sun that I simply do not possess. But at least when applied to socks and spoons the end product is a clean house. When applied to writing, the end result is more like a big lump of unusable boredom that you've painfully slathered on a page.

I'm more of a work saver-upper. I don't do the little bit at a time thing. I do the, "well now I'm living in an apartment carpeted in socks, guess it's time to clean" thing. The same goes with my writing.

I could pick these up now, but it seems like a lot of effort.
Look, I'm not saying that this is a hard and fast rule for everyone. I think that there are probably some people who can overcome writer's block through an overwhelming strength of will and the incessant daily task of pounding away at the keys. What I am saying is that that's not me, and it's okay if that's not you. Like me, maybe you're more of a writing-sprinter than a writing marathon-er. Maybe you're more of the hare than the tortoise. Well I say, don't you let any tortoise make you feel guilty. Fortitude is about long-term achievements, and the fact is that whether you write a little everyday or you do a 10,000 word day followed by a month lull, it doesn't matter so long as you keep at it and get there in the end.

Hare is trying to be like a tortoise, and no one is happy about it.

And the bonus to being a hare? Besides being furry, cute, and not spreading salmonella everywhere?

Once you do get something down on the page, you usually have a lot less slop to sort through than our slow-and-steady tortoise friends. (Although, beware -- you are more prone to plot holes.)

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