The thing that is killing me
I think that the thing that is killing me is lack of motivation. It has eaten into my bones and made them porous and brittle with lethargy. The entire structure and fabric of my being is rendered paralysed and powerless. My world is riddled with this vicious bug which robs me of every ounce of strength and willpower when I think about sitting down and writing a good piece.
I can do it, I know, but every time I try I only run out of steam before I get anywhere.
Surely, part of the problem is because my projects lack discipline and structure. When I start, I often don’t set any guidelines and targets. I simply say, ‘I want to write a story about such and such’ and then, after much prevarication and extremely protracted rumination, by the time of which I have lost most, or even all, of the initial enthusiasm, I start. I spend most of the time staring at the blank screen. Then I write a fabulously brilliant opening line, spend more time thinking how the story will play out until I become plain tired of thinking, then I slug it out with a monumental amount of willpower, motivated purely by sheer frustration and guilt (at wasting so much time with nothing to show for it), and produce a pathetic half a page of blundering nonsense. Then I go back to the opening line and decide that it was no so brilliant after all.
But I have decided that I will not let this thing beat me.
That is why I am setting up this collection of stories which I call ’20-20’, which will consist of 20 short (2020 words approx) stories to be submitted on the 20th of every month (i.e. for the next 20 months) starting from 20 July 2010 - A personally imposed format and deadline, publicly declared, to concentrate the mind and kick-ass my wavering motivation into life.
At the end of each story, I will be setting out a 200 word (approx) rough synopsis of the next instalment together with the working title.
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Due date: 20 July 2010
Working Title: A whammy in disguise
Rough synopsis: Brenda and James were twins brought up in Walthamstow. They fell out with each other and went their separate ways shortly after their mom died in a motor accident, when they were 19. They didn’t see or speak to each other for over 10 years. But James discovered that their grandfather had transferred a large amount of money into a joint account which he had opened for them when they were 12. James vaguely remembered the little green passbook which only had a single entry of £15 which was the opening balance. Brenda was the one who was fond of keeping things, and James was sure that the passbook was still among her childhood keepsakes, whereupon he decided to pay her a friendly visit, intending to take the passbook without her knowledge and withdraw all the money from the account. Brenda was unsettled by her brother's unexpected arrival and was not fooled by his unwelcome affectations. She only became more and more suspicious with each move that he made. The events that followed caused both of them to think differently about each other, about themselves and about other people.
The final plot may vary significantly from the above, as I may not resist too strongly if inspiration takes the story in a different direction.