Where have I been lately, is the question nobody has asked me lately. Seriously, whose arm do I have to twist to get asked a few questions?
All bad jokes aside, where have I been? Well, here. Online. On my laptop, or iPad or phone. Pretty much I’ve been behind a screen of some kind writing, reading or playing video games.
The original intention of my blog, was to get my writing out in the world and improve my skills as an author and story-teller. I have no idea if that has worked, but I know my reviews and random thoughts have reached people. I see the stats. Week after week, my LEGO posts continue to get clicks whether I post or not and while I was hoping to constantly upload more, the inner me prevents that.
You see, I have OCD and while I may have mentioned that previously in posts, it isn’t the cute OCD people speak of online. It is more along the lines of, OCD that prevents me from completing my thoughts and writing. Do you want to know more?
OCD stands for, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it is a pain in the absolute arse. Most people know what it means, and I’m sure they all think it has something to do with cleaning. Partially true. I clean a lot, but I also enjoy it. I check the locks on my doors at least five times before leaving the house or going to bed. I wash my hands a lot and clean for enjoyment. Seriously. I have to place things in a neat order or need them lined up. I step on tiles and never touch the crack. I crack my knuckles an even amount of times, just in case. I have to visually check things, mentally check them, and say it to myself as a three-step authentication. I count and recount things. Front to back, back to front and repeat it. I do so many things that people would find crazy, but for me, if I don’t do it, it hurts. Not in the “oh no, I’ve broken a bone” way, but it pains me all over not to do theses little things.
It has become a running joke between my partner and I. When we are in bed at night, I have all my alarms set to wake the following morning, and she will smile at me and ask if I set my alarms. Such a simple thing which 99% of the population would just brush off, but not for me. First it begins with me thinking about if I set my alarms. Then I visually check it off in my head. But then I think about it and can’t be sure my mind isn’t playing games. So get out of my comfortable position in bed, grab my phone and check my alarms. All are set, and my volume is on high. So I check them visually and silently say it to myself. I quickly close my eyes to try to lock the image in my head and say goodnight. And then just for a second, I doubt myself again. The urge is there to grab my phone and check the alarms, but I wonder what my partner would say to me.
You see what I mean by OCD, it takes a toll on me I never want to acknowledge. It impacts my life, but more than that, it plays havoc on my writing. I’ll give you an example. On a Monday I wrote 4,500 words for a story I’ve been working on. This took me roughly two hours or so. No big deal, and I closed the document happy with where I left it. On Tuesday, I returned to the project, read some over and decided to change a few things. This resulted in a 4,000 word rewrite. After three hours I put it down and walked away. Wednesday comes around, and another 3,000 words later I close the document. Day after day, I continue to reread, rewrite, close and walk away. By the weekend, I had changed that much of my writing, the original story doesn’t exist anymore. I get angry and frustrated and end up with my original thought gone. So I delete the document because having an unfinished document causes me more pain. Over 10,000 words deleted because I wasn’t happy with it.
Mind you, I’ve deleted entire stories and outlines because I couldn’t decide on a character name. One time it got so bad, I couldn’t continue to write after changing a name. And yes it would be so easy to ‘search and change’ the name throughout the document, but what if I missed one? What if the different name is there? Oh no, need to rewrite the entire thing. I am not joking. My partner makes fun of me all the time about it.
“How much did you write today?” She asks.
“Well, I decided to change this part, so now I scraped that and wrote about 2500 words of a new one.” I happily reply while inside, my head is screaming.
My point in all this is, I’m a perfectionist. I still make mistakes in my writing and grammar and I can’t help that, but being a perfectionist means I am forever unhappy with my work. I have James Bond reviews on here, and to this day, I want to rewrite them all. Couple that type of attitude with my OCD and it forms this unhealthy fear of ever posting or being content with my work. What I have managed to post, I have grappled with for hours, and in some cases its been weeks.
So now you have a small idea why I post so infrequently. It’s not because I’m lazy, because that is far from the truth. It’s just the thought of posting raises all those above issues. I want to post more often, and I’d love to give a timeline, but frankly I can’t. Just rest assured knowing, whenever I next post it will be with my absolute best behind it.
P.S. I only needed to rewrite this blog post three times, and while the original was about 500 words, this has managed to push past 1000.