Cheating for the win

To review, I quit writing a novel.

I quit because it was broken, and I didn’t know how to fix it. I’m not good enough to make it into the story that I want it to be. So, I need to become a better writer. I need to become a better writer by writing more. More words, more stories, more articles, more stuff.

But…why? There’s no real end goal with being a successful writer. Yeah, money, fame and all that. But really the reward for being a successful writer is that you get to write more. And then, when you’re done, you get to celebrate by starting to write a new thing. It’s a hamster wheel. So there’s no castle at the end with a princess in it. There’s no ceremony, no podium to stand on, no award that means you won writing. You can’t win writing. You just get to keep doing it. And that’s your reward. Ideally, you get to do it until you die.

And this should be a good thing. Right?

Endlessly doing something? Until you die?

This is good?

Yes. This is good.

Sometimes, your weak human mind will have a flash of clarity and tell you that everybody dies, and you could die tomorrow, and why should you spend all your life sitting at a computer waggling your fingers when you should be out in the sunshine! You should be watching TV! You should be playing that new game, or having drinks with your friends, or shopping, or doing whatever that isn’t writing. Because life! It’s for living! Yeah! Cue Mountain Dew commercial! No, no. You’ve got to learn to tamp that zest down. It will only make you do fun things that you will probably enjoy. Unacceptable!

The key, I’m discovering, is to train your mind to take pleasure in work. Fun and enjoyment? Nah. The real challenge is to learn to derive self-worth from doing things that make you feel shitty about yourself for long stretches of time. If you can do that? Then, my friend, you’ve got an endless supply of confidence.

I’m going to rig the game.

So how am I going to do that? How will I ever train myself to take pleasure in thankless, futile labor locked in the damp and fetid chambers of my own mind? Easy. Cheat. Rig the game so that I CAN win. I’m going to win all the time. Like every day. Like every week. Because who doesn’t like to win? People will do anything to win. Right?

Here it is: I need to fool myself into working when I don’t want to work. Maybe what making it easy to win will do is get me that little rush of accomplishment.

That same feeling you get when you manage to get up one morning and you exercise and spend the rest of the day strutting around the office, feeling superior. That little smirk on your face. That wonderful smug feeling. We’ve all felt it.

I think I’ll need it every day. Every hour sometimes. So I need set up many ways for me to win. Many ways for me to get that feeling whenever I need it to get going. I need victory conditions.

By the way? I wrote 2324 words yesterday.


I’m better than you.

Ahh. That’s the stuff.