Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guilt monkeys

I'm writing again. Whew, that feels good!

I finished a short story today. Well, I wrote half of it last night and this morning. I wrote the other half three weeks ago when I noticed an intersting prompt and thought, "Heck, I have three weeks to get something together for that. No problem." Ha.

It shouldn't have been a problem. I'm annoyed with myself for taking that much time off. I have excuses, one of them possibly very exciting, but that will wait for another post when things are confirmed. But we all have excuses, don't we? The trick is to not accept them and keep writing.

I must better learn to be my own 'nagging grandmother' as Vayen would say. Let me tell you, if I had to actually vocalize to someone the excuses I make for not writing, they would likely sound far more lame that I try to rationalize.

It's time to break out the guilt monkeys until I can get myself back in line.

Normally, I save the guilt monkeys for November during NaNoWriMo. I also have a pack of rabid, cybernetic attack weasels, but they're off saving the world during the off season. So I'm using the monkeys.

Depending on who you ask and how much sugar or liquor they've recently injested, you might be told that guilt monkeys are actual monkeys or they are your support network. I'm inclined to tell you both--because I have posters I'm printing for my NaNo region to prove it. However, for the purpose of this post, let's call them your support network.

How it works: I tell as many people as possible that I'm going to write something. Something with a goal works best for optimal results. Such as: A short story today, a rough draft of a novel this month, finish a round of revisions on chapters one through ten this week, etc. At least one of my drafted guilt monkeys will follow through and ask how that progress is coming along. I then either have to say, "Awesome! It's done / I'm half done / I'm working on it" or "I didn't get to it because.... (insert sure to sound lame excuse here). I hate sounding lame.

Some people are great at setting goals for themselves and reaching them. Some of us need accountablity... and guilt monkeys.

Where can you find your own guilt monkeys?
-Facebook updates
-Blog posts
-The jungle
-Your friends
-Your critique group
-The produce section of your grocery store
-Your family (but I've found they accept the lame excues a little too easily because they want you to feed them)

And now I must go polish and submit this thing before I get pelted with banana peels.


  1. I have a friend who always asks to see what I write, so that tends to encourage me when I'm not into writing.

    Otherwise the guilt monkeys turn me into a useless pile of mush as I feel awful about not completing something.

  2. Hehe I like the ideas of using guilt monkeys. I will need to do this. Thanks Darla! :)

  3. lol, great post!!! Can I be your guilt monkey? Maybe between us we can have a small zoo!!!

  4. @Chrys - Of course! Not that you need guilt monkeys. You're far more productive than I am these days.

    @Rebel - Don't feel awful, just start writing again. ;)

    @Zella - You're welcome. Try to find cute monkeys, they're harder to say no to. Really, could you spout off excuses to this little monkey and bear to see the disapointment in his little eyes?

  5. Ha hahahahaha! Guilt monkeys? That is funny. I tend to set dates, and try to write/revise a little everyday. What ever works.

  6. Ooh, I like Chrys's idea. A guilt zoo.

    Right now I'm doing well on keeping up with goals, but if I start to fall behind, I'll try this! (Unless I can find an excuse for not trying it...)

  7. @Stella & Scott - Good for you! I'll keep a few monkeys in the closet for you in case you ever fall off the writing wagon.


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