March 30

Unraveling the number cage

So you may notice a lot of numbers disappearing from the chapters/events/scenes to be replaced by short titles. Maybe it’s just me having too much time on my hands waiting for ADHD treatment… but I’ve been thinking about the things that trip me up as a writer since starting the subscription site.

It wasn’t something I actually planned to do, write while being observed. I was used to finishing a book then sharing it. I didn’t think it would be difficult — all I do is write at this point. But I realized in the middle of writing Hellcat, having done about, oh, three extremely different drafts of that book until I got to the end, changing it so many times on the site while readers watched it transform, that numbering things made me feel trapped. Like, I had to make a scene 5ab at one point—and don’t get me started about the mess of the PATB serial as I tear through the rough drafts building the completed form like a tornado—and it just felt dumb and annoying because suddenly nothing was the right number when I added scenes in the middle, and I’ve been using ??? for certain scene numbers just to claim this isn’t definitive, the number might not be this, don’t hold me to this! XD

It’s a mess. I write in drafts, and I change shit around, a lot, which is totally normal (things do not automatically appear in their final form on the page; it’s a process that requires the initial ideas to then spark the later ideas), yet I’m so stuck on patterns and systems—and to be clear, I’m not being glib about this being a disruptive thing. It seems quite brilliant to be able to find any pattern in a puzzle or sequence—once aced a PSAT of analogies not knowing a single word in front of me just based on pattern recognition. My brain zeroes in on this shit, and it all seems fine until you realize there is no pattern and your brain just assumes everyday things means something and that patterns must be found and created. My brain gets stuck on pointless labeling structure—it’s so fucking dumb.

It’s all in my head. I’m fucking neurotic. A part of me loved the idea of these really neat, simple number systems (the balance of the same pattern on a screen to scroll through is just so lovely to the eye), which is why I switched to them in the first place. And then here I am realizing I don’t feel like I’m ALLOWED to change things around because I’ll mess up the stupid system I made up in the first place! XD Oh, and if I do it for one story, everything I make has to have the same fucking system—there is no half-assing with this brain of mine. All or nothing.

Do not have my brain. Seriously, no one should have to deal with this madness. @[email protected] Although, this could be a part of autism—I have autism, recently found out when I got the ADHD dx. So definitely have this type of brain, just don’t let it rule you. Avoid the triggers that turn brilliance into tormenting dumb fuckery. Otherwise, it’s just this damn cage of nonsensical rules that pop up, something that writing in general has a lot of minefields. Grammar nazis are dangerous to a brain like mine, this insistence that something like the language we made up must be followed to precision (an elitist, ableist, classist claim, btw) when language is an evolving, ever changing medium that now includes n00b, c0mpu732 50c141 14n9u4935, and emojis 💩💩💩 as normal forms of communication. Like, fuck my auto correct that used to help me and now just gaslights my spelling choices.

So, yeah, anyways, getting rid of numbers when it comes to scenes and such. The final, final books will have numbered chapters, but until that point—for my own damn sanity—I need to not use numbers. So of course now I’m just fucking around naming all my scenes that used to have numbers, still seeming mad as fuck about everything as I obsess on this part. The whole point of this is to be less neurotic about shit, I swear. It just doesn’t feel like it during this part of the process… >_>

But it’s important in its own way. It’s like coming at things sideways, dragging me into thinking about writing even as my brain struggles to focus. The fucking thing can focus on numbers, on patterns, on coding (fucking hate coding, just to be clear, even when obsessing over it) but it is still struggling to translate ideas of plots into scenes.

Soon. 2 weeks and I should have my first attempt at seeing which ADHD med is going to work for me. I’m already dreading the possibility that the first one won’t work—this has felt like the longest damn wait to get help for ADHD, and everything that slows it down is just unbearable. But whatever. I can’t function without treatment, so I don’t have a choice. Gotta wait it out.

Oh, but binge watching the The Great British Baking Show during this long ass wait. Some good is coming from this all. XD

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