brain lint #4: blippy longstocking

that's an awfully hot copy block

Oops, I haven’t done one of these in two months! However, does any one of you truly give a flying one about whether this lands in your inbox at a certain moment? And is the weird choked-up feeling I sometimes get in my throat when I haven’t done a thing ‘in time,’ in fact, caused by myself and my terrible brain?

When you’re a much-practised, artful procrastinator such as I, you have to try and trick yourself into doing things sometimes - even if you actually like the thing you’re avoiding with the full force your life. After a while, these constant blips in your output become ‘part of your practice’ against your will (not that I’ve ever needed more practice being a lazy fuck!). So doing endless, listless, sick-making circles of time-wasting around the work before I even touch it becomes really good and useful, somehow - a really quite incredible mental backwards handspring. I wonder if this can really, actually be true - that I NEED to be in some sort of mystical ‘writing zone’ to make good work.

Because when I FORCE myself to write something, like I tried to force-write this newsletter a week ago, it always comes out all sloppy and shit and I hate it. It makes me feel like a bad writer! A freak! A fool! I often stop after a few lines of writing, citing ‘not feeling it,’ ‘it’s wank’ and also ‘wow this is pretentious shite written by one of the world’s stupidest and most deluded losers.’ But that also happens when I don’t go back through my writing to take all the wishy-washy, waggling, try-hard parts out (I obviously leave some in, too, for flavour, like this bit). So by not even intending to edit it, I end up dooming my writing when I’m not ‘in the zone’ from the start. I’m already pressing a backspace key to its temple and telling it its days are numbered.

BUT ALSO, if I’m not enjoying the writing, should I be arsed about not getting stuff out, and out, and out? This newsletter, and any other little projects I fruitlessly attempt to complete, should be bringing me infinite joy, instant calm and international adoration, not a searing reminder of a pathetic procrastination habit learned in primary school. BUT THEN AGAIN, should I be ridding myself of this shitty habit and inviting more joy, calm and international adoration into my life by accepting my shit writing (that might not be as shit as I think) and letting you all read it? 

The thought of that seriously puts the shits up me. To try and play and experiment with stuff in front of people who can perceive me in any way makes me feel seriously hideous, like a blob monster in a wig trying to invade society but instead dousing everyone in vomit. I should probably bring that up in therapy, when my therapist doesn’t have Coronavirus any more. But I can already tell she’ll tell me to work on it, so work on that I shall. Maybe I’ll do a really bad poem for you all at some point. Or just press ‘publish’ on something when I don’t feel 100%. Doesn’t sound like much, but if you think a big ‘FRAUD’ stamp is going to come down and press into your forehead at any time, it is all a bit scary.

I’m coming to think more and more that it’s probably the weird cocktail of chemicals in my brain at any given moment that decide what I think is good or bad when it comes to my own work. Maybe I shouldn’t listen very hard to that, but when it’s a voice reverberating from deep inside your own bonce, it’s quite hard to ignore. I would far rather it be a mix of wisdom, logic and perhaps ancient astrology that tells me what’s good and bad, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Thankfully, the bit of toss you just read has survived - thanks brain, you constant prick.

Tiny distractions from mortal terror: notable stuff I’ve absorbed recently

  1. I have actually nearly finished Elena Ferrante’s third book of the Neapolitan novels, which are all exquisite and highly recommended by me and loads of other people who like hyperrealistic books about female friendship.

  2. I’m also currently playing, and have nearly finished, Hades on my Switch. It’s such a good heart-thumping game, even if some of the voice acting is a bit grinding, and I wouldn’t think twice about paying twice as much as I did for it. I simp for sexy emo Death Incarnate, Thanatos, ofc.

  3. The Matrix Trilogy, some of it in a den we made out of sheets, and then the cats destroyed. The films still hold up well imo - surely some of it was a bit silly when it came out? I think everyone takes it a bit seriously.

  4. My friend Ailsa sent our group chat this YouTube video of an annoying cat, and it’s really heartwarming.

  5. I’ve been comfort-revisiting Vine videos like the crusty old late-late-twenties bb I am. This is my fave atm.

  6. Drag Race UK, which is EONS better and funnier than the US equivalent (in fact, the US one is starting to feel as stale as an old crouton). The chat Bimini and Ginny had about being non-binary this week was properly amazing to see, especially on the BBC.

  7. I deleted hated and evil music streaming platform Spotify and have turned towards the light of Bandcamp. I discovered Devi McCallion’s music straight away, which made me feel better about not being able to stream Avril Lavigne straight into my skull at the drop of a hat.

  8. Of course, I’m watching an awful cookery show. This time it’s Top Chef on Netflix which is sooo pathetic and terrible I can’t even describe. I will watch it all.