My Writing Life, with Ned (inner critic)
Don: Well, here we are.
Ned: Are you talking to me?
Don: Who else would I be talking to?
Ned: I don’t know; you’re always talking to lots of people.
Don: Hmmm, I guess you’re right.
Ned: Of course I’m right.
Don: O.K. but if I’m talking to someone else, why are you answering me?
Ned: Oops, I suppose you’ve figured out that I can always tell whom you are addressing.
Don: Yes, I realize that you always listen to whatever I’m thinking, and I thank you for that.
Ned: Your welcome; that’s pretty much the only reason that I’m here.
Don: Great, now that we have that settled, let’s get on with the matter at hand.
Ned: Absolutely; you’re the boss.
Don: What do you think of all this writing business?
Ned: I think it’s pretty haphazard, and it sure is a lot of work.
Don: What are you complaining about? I have to originate everything.
Ned: That’s true, but have you ever stopped to think how much drivel I have to consider and then decide if any of it is actually worth paying attention to?
Don: Actually, I have, and as a consequence, I’ve developed certain practices which allow me to help take the load off.
Ned: Like what?
Don: Primarily, I think, the most useful technique is to have a song running in the background, always ready to step in, whenever the situation calls for it. For instance; right now the song happens to be, “Say you will, say you won’t, make up your mind this time, etc… be mine tonight”, by the group Foreigner.
Ned: I know, it’s a pretty catchy one, but often, I get tired of hearing it over and over.
Don: Me too, but the only cure is to replace it with something else.
Ned: All you have to do is put on something else?
Don: Yeah, I feed the stuff through whatever means; radio, recorded music or memories.
Ned: That’s right! Then I decide what to keep, but remember, sometimes the music comes from an external source, which someone else may have chosen.
Don: You’re the smart one.
Ned: I try.
Don: Wait a minute, hold it right there, I think we’re getting side-tracked. One; we’re supposed to be discussing my writing life here, and two; we’re supposed to be arguing.
Ned: Let’s do it then.
Don: O.K. I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that I’ve already been learning in this class, so far.
Ned: Like what?
Don: There you go; putting me on the spot; making me feel insecure.
Ned: You’re the one who has to ease off the pressure. Remember? I’m just the one giving advice.
Don: No, I think it’s a two way street.
Ned: I don’t see how we are going to get anything accomplished, if we’re arguing.
Don: That’s how we settle debates.
Ned: My point is that if we weren’t arguing, there would be no debate.
Don: You always have to take the defensive, don’t you?
Ned: Oh, contraire, it’s my job to point out when you’re being unreasonable.
Don: I’m sitting here trying to discuss forming better writing habits, by becoming regular with them and learning to get into a familiar posture to write, by creating certain rituals which help me associate mood with writing.
Ned: Don’t let me stop you.
Don: So, it’s my entire fault again, huh?
Ned: You’re the boss. Hey, I just noticed something else that you’re learning, which helps illustrate the very point that you tried to make a minute ago. You said, “You’re the boss,” that ties in with using repetition, as a tool to make your writing more enjoyable; as you already said that, once before.
Don: What do you mean? You’re the one who said it.
Ned: I don’t say anything; I just tell you what to say.
Don: Dang, I see what you mean; these writing exercises are interesting and kind of fun.
Ned: Sure they are; you just like complaining about all the work.
Don: I’m not complaining.
Ned: No, but you keep thinking it. See? One of my jobs is to offer moral support.
Don: You call that moral support? I can’t get away with anything around you.
Ned: Oh yeah? Next, you’re going to call me schizophrenic, with multiple personality disorder.
Don: If the shoe fits, wear it.
Ned: I don’t wear shoes.
Don: I was speaking metaphorically.
Ned: I know; another job of mine is…crap! I forgot what I was going to say!
Don: So, it’s you! You’re the one giving me writers block.
Ned: If it makes you feel better to think so.
Don: It does.
Ned: So be it.
Don: I hope the reader thinks that this is as funny as I think it is.
Ned: It’s not for you to say what they think.
Don: I didn’t tell them what to think, I said, I hope.
Ned: Now you’re putting them on the spot; if they think it’s funny, they will, if not, they won’t.
Don: Enough! I think we’re losing ground again.
Ned: You make the final decisions, but I have to agree with you.
Don: If that’s the case, how come you, hardly, ever do?
Ned: What do you mean? I just did.
Don: I said, “Hardly”, not, never.
Ned: Haven’t we gone over this already, in this paper? I give you the opposing or contrary opinions, in order to help you decide which train of thought seems more logical.
Don: So, it’s a group effort, after all.
Ned: Indeed. (Music starts playing in head) This time it’s Devo: “It’s not too late, to whip it, into shape, go forward, get straight,” etc…
Don: Good choice (laughs to self). Music cont. “Crack that whip!”