I had Richard Dawkins over at the house today…he needed to use my office photocopier to copy some tax papers. He got to witness my Process firsthand over the course of a whole hour, as I labored on my NaTeUnNoWiMo novel.
I wasn’t having a very good day. There I was, staring at the screen, typing and then deleting paragraph after paragraph. It was 200 words forward, 200 words back, over and over and over again.
“Writer’s block, eh?” Richard noted, not without sympathy.
I didn’t even take my eyes off of the screen. “Writer’s block is a delusion,” I replied. “People believe it exists only because they want it to exist. It relieves them of the responsibility of dealing with their problems head-on, in a rational and self-determining fashion.”
At this point I shook my head and silently tapped Command-A and Command-X for the nth time that morning.
“…Which is really just cheating yourself out of a wonderful experience,” I continued. “It’s so much more satisfying to be able to say ‘I was confronted by a complex, baffling, and real problem…and although at times it sure seemed as though finding a solution was way beyond my limited powers, I ultimately dug deep, broke the problem down, and triumphed’.”
Dawkins froze and blinked once or twice.
“That’s good stuff,” he finally said. “Can I use it?”
I shrugged and nodded.
Then it occurred to me that he was taking an awful long time just to copy a bunch of forms. I walked over to the other side of the office and discovered that he was photocopying the entire galley edition of my new iPhone book.
Cripes…it’s bad enough that he’s not buying his own copy. He also has to use my toner and my paper? I guess life is pretty damned sweet after you’ve declared that “Thou Shalt Not Steal” doesn’t apply to you.
He’s a nice guy and everything. Just don’t loan him your spare iPod charger, that’s all I’m saying.
Day 10. Words written: 0.