Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaNoWriMo Excerpt - Ryan on Stalling

I was reading through what I've written in hopes of ending my ten day long no writing streak and this jumped out as topical:


When I finally got home, garb of villainy retrieved, I returned to my normal routine, by which I mean I had dinner.

So, what does a villain eat for dinner? Sandwiches. Ham and Swiss on rye. With mustard. Heinz mustard. The bog standard bright yellow stuff, nothing fancy. For a drink I have water. There's also orange juice in the fridge but at the moment I'm in a water kind of mood. Then I bring it with me to the couch and watch an old movie. Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, that kind of thing.

After that, who knows? Maybe I'll play a videogame. Oh the wondrous life that villainy has brought me. Actually it's a good life, but most of my time is spent planning or otherwise preparing for jobs. Down time I've never really known what to do with. I can't stop. I can't ever stop. If I stop then I might never get started again.

Time unfilled will end up with me doing nothing and that is not good because nothing is a hard thing to stop doing. I've been told that there's a standard joke used by comedians. When they ask what someone does for a living sometimes someone will say, “Nothing,” and the comedians will respond, “How do you know when you're done?” The answer is you don't, because you're never done. It will expand and take over your life. Once you start it is incredibly difficult to stop.

It just grows and grows and all the time it happens it sucks the life and energy out of you. If I allow myself to stop, even for a day, then I stall. I cease to function. It is not a good thing. It's like sinking into quicksand, efforts to escape all seem to be counterproductive and you just get more and more stuck.

It helps, I've found, to have a friend. If I didn't have to feed Benjamin I have no idea what would break me out of those slumps, maybe nothing would. Maybe I'd still be stuck now. Maybe my life would be constantly being stuck. But the thought of a rat starving to death is too horrible to consider, and so, eventually, I was forced to act. I had to feed the rat. Somehow I've been able to use that as a crutch to get me out of slumps before.

It's not easy, it's like hopping along trying to keep your weight off a sprained ankle. I've had, I would say, more than my share of sprained ankles and I have to say it's not fun. But you can move on one, and sometimes you have to, and you just make yourself go because you know that if you stop you might never start again. That's what it's like. And then, generally speaking, I rob a bank.

Because why not rob a bank?