The Man Cave

The Man Cave
Jack's Man Cave (Click on the photo to enter the Cave)
Showing posts with label Writers Block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writers Block. Show all posts

Monday, August 17, 2020

Yesterday Was One of The Worst Writing Days Ever

Yesterday Was One of The Worst Writing Days Ever

So I bought a bunch of stuff to feel better

Photo by Dmitri Houtteman on UnSplash

Yesterday the temperature was in the 90's and unusually humid here in Southern California. As I sat at my desk in my man cave, punching the keys,  the sweat poured down from my head onto my neck and shoulders.  I was miserable.
. . .

I pretended like I came up with a good ending to my first draft manuscript of my memoir covering birth to the end of Junior High School 

I wrote a crappy half-assed paragraph, and when I got to the end of it, I said loudly in an Orson Welles sort of voice "The End."  Like I had just finished "Lolita" or "Finnegan's Wake."  

I know what I wrote is not going to be "The End." Not even close.  My utterance was just a pathetic plea to the cold indifferent universe.  I almost broke down crying.

The first 350,000 words came easy over the last four months.  But I've been struggling over the last week to write a good ending.  So in the interim, I've written a bunch of silly Medium articles about coat hangers, rescue dogs, and Uber rides.

The problem is I do not really have any clear memory of the period of time I am writing about now.  I think I blocked it all out of my mind.  

I used my go-to trick and went to Wikipedia and looked up "1983" but it still didn't help much.  Maybe I need to go get hypnotized to unearth memories from the end of Eight Grade to the beginning of High School. 

I said 

"Screw it, I better start editing this thing."

So I read a bunch of "How to Edit your Manuscript" articles on Medium

There are lots of helpful articles about editing on Medium.  But it still sounds like a lot of work, and I am confused how to most efficiently do it.  

It comforts me when I read things like "your first draft is just a data dump" or "don't even worry about your first draft, worry about your fourth!"

But any transitory comfort soon evaporated when the next thought came.


"Wait a sec, you mean I have to completely rewrite this entire 450,000 word pile of . . ?"  

I typed my manuscript in One Note. Mistake?

I typed all my Manuscript in chapters on One Note.  Now I need to cut and paste all those chapters into one giant Word Document.  

I want to have a big manuscript to be able to carry around, and throw on the table at Starbucks.  Or at the holidays, when the family asks me what I've been doing during the pandemic.

But I want to cut and paste the One Note material to a Word document in the most efficient and logical manner.

I knew what I needed to do.  I needed to buy things.

. . .

I bought a bunch of things to make me feel better, and feel like I was being productive

Some of the editing articles said to use Grammarly Premium, and Hemingway Editor.  So I ripped open my Velcro wallet and bought both those to make myself feel good.  

The afterglow of retail therapy did not last long.

Grammarly Premium pass-through

I've been using the free version of Grammarly since I started writing articles for Medium in June 2020.  So I am familiar with the Grammarly interface, and I find it fun, like a video game. 

I cut and pasted the first chapter of my Memoir onto the Grammarly webpage, and ran it through the Premium version.  I started with a score in the low 80's, and when I made most of the suggested changes I got up into the high 90's.  

I felt good.  Yeah, really good, I thought

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Loa Tzu

. . .

Hemingway Editor sweep

Then I cut and pasted my first chapter from Grammarly Premium, to the Hemingway Editor.  The Hemingway Editor highlighted every single word of my chapter, in various shades of highlighting. 

"Hard to read" - Pink

"Very hard to read"- Red

"Passive voice"-Yellow

"Are you sure you really want to do this?"-Light Blue

"You're better at math than this, right?"-Dark Blue

"We'll refund your money, if you act fast and quit now"-Green

Oh my God.  This is bad.  Really bad, I thought.

. . .

I got so upset again, that I was dumb enough to try to create a WordPress website myself

I needed to buy more stuff to feel better.  So I somehow wound up buying a "free" WordPress website.  

After 47 minutes of trying to put a photograph of myself on the home page, I finally felt the first tear fall.

I felt it on my thigh because I was wearing a Speedo.

 Copyright © 2020 Jack Clune

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