FinishingFebruary 8th, 2012 at 16:59
I promised a continuation of “My Quest for the Perfect Writing Space and Other Things I do to Avoid Writing” but I have a slight problem. I struggle with finishing things.
I know a lot of people have this problem. For most, I think it’s a result of laziness or insecurity. But it’s not that with me. I know that bullshit positivity, pseudo-psychological, “you can do anything you put your mind to” delusion isn’t going to help. It’s not my self-doubt , self-hatred, or self-anything-negative that’s preventing me from completing what I’ve started. Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of that going on at any given time. But that anxiety, believe it or not, actually drives me forward. Or so I tell myself.
With me, not finishing is pathological.
It’s not just with writing. I could be reading the greatest story and it still happens. I get to the last page, see that final paragraph, and some switch in my brain just shuts off. I’ll read and reread the last paragraph and it’s like I don’t know the meaning of the words. I hear them loud and clear in my head. There’s just no recognition. The same thing happens with novels but on a bigger scale. Sometimes, depending on the page count, I might have to reread the last two or three pages. The same thing happens with a really enjoyable film.
My theory is this: Just like the essays, screenplays, and stories I write, I internalize what I read or what I watch, build these personal connections, and because they’re now a part of me, I don’t want them to end. And a way of delaying the inevitable, at least in my brain’s brain, is to simply never get there. This theory holds up when I test it against film. Take Exhibit A: I’m watching a particularly engaging movie at home. I know the runtime. We hit the third act. My eyes drift toward the timer on the DVD player, and I start panicking. There’s only 11 minutes left. How can everything possibly be resolved in that short time? Exhibit B is the exact same movie but at the theaters. There’s no counter ticking away just below the screen; thus, no panic.
Don’t feel sorry for me though. Even though I struggle, I always, eventually, at some point, finish what I started.
All that said, I think my problem with writing the second part of “My Quest for the Perfect Writing Space…” is that I got bored. This would mean in this particular case, it is laziness preventing me from finishing something. I wonder if that makes this entire piece irrelevant. I don’t know, but I had no problem finishing it.