The Hyde Side

My muse has a split personality. One personality wants to write productive, helpful pieces. The other half, the Hyde half, wants to distract me in any way possible.

What this means is that I can be happily researching a topic like, say, bees. The worker half of my muse will dress in tie-dye, wear daisies in her hair and write beautiful, moving prose to make the world a better place for bees. (She gets like that sometimes; I find it best just to go with it.)

Meanwhile, the Hyde half has other ideas:

Wouldn’t it be fun to make gigantic “BEE KILLER” signs and sneak out after midnight to stick them in the yards of people who use those pesticide-spraying lawn services? C’mon, grab the markers; I’m sure I saw poster boards in the basement. It’ll be freakin’ HIL-AR-EE-OUS.

I admit, Hyde can be a bit… er… extreme sometimes.

Hyde’s sole purpose for existing is to create procrastination opportunities. I never know when Hyde will show up or what she’ll suggest.I do know that the disruptions can murder my workflow.

Hyde has been around a lot this week. This tends to happen when I have a  heavy workload and trying to keep all the teacups I’m juggling in the air. Since I’m on a deadline to complete an outline for a commissioned book, her timing sucks.

Look at this!  Look at this!

Check email again. It’s been at least five minutes. Maybe that interview request has been answered.

Oooh, Amazon.com has those reference books you want. Let’s go order them.

C’mon, click “stumble.” You know you want to.

Fortunately, I know ways to shut Hyde down. I’ve got a whole list. Here are three of my faves.

1. Take away her toys. No Internet, no e-mail. Yes, she pouts. That’s half the fun. “Going dark” removes most of the distractions she would otherwise throw in my path.

2. Focus on one very small, specific goal at a time. For instance, naming chapter three or writing the lead sentence for my next query letter. When that is done I move on to the next specific goal and then the next. Small steps = forward motion. Forward motion = Hyde’s version of kryptonite.

3. Set aside time for recess. This is the dangling carrot approach to beating procrastination. Procrastination becomes the reward for not procrastinating. Warped, yes, but it works. Knowing that I can turn Hyde loose at lunchtime if I meet a set number of goals makes it easier to ignore her when she whispers in my ear.

Do you have a Hyde side that tempts you away from your writing goals?  How do you get past procrastination and get on with the work day?


18 comments on “The Hyde Side

  1. Oh. My. GOD.

    You’re moderating comments? What are you, some kind of Blogger Nazi????

  2. Comment? I can’t read the page! *Shakes head sadly, casts vote for Worst WP Layout* Bad font for screen reading and way too small, text goes out of sight when zoomed to readable size — I give up. Too bad, it looks like it might be interesting. 😦

  3. The Akismet plug-in works brilliantly to catch spam, it’s teachable, and you don’t lose the fickle comment traffic that figures if you’re gonna stick ’em in a queue to be moderated, they just won’t bother.

    I’m not fickle like that, in case you were concerned.

    In fact, I’ll probably just keep leaving longer and longer comments. Because, hey, the pressure is off, you know?

  4. you weren’t concerned at all, though, were you. I’ve JUST figured it out. I’m an embarrassment to you, so you want some lead time to brace yourself, or else delete me entirely before I give away the cypher key to your secret communications here with the reptilizoid aliens.

    BUT I FIGURED IT OUT!!!! So NOW whaddaya gonna do, huh?

    Oh…wait…I’m still stuck in comment-moderation hell….

  5. All the time. Hyde runs rampant. I’ll try to use your tips here to reign her under control.

  6. I’m wondering about Matera’s browser choice. Since this is one of the newer WordPress templates (and only available if you’re blogging at the wordpress.com domain) — and since I find it extremely readable in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all three, and lord knows my own eyes are getting finicky about things like resolution and font size, it might be that the CSS is less compatible with whichever browser or version Matera is using?

  7. […] I know that sounds mean. Remember, this is the same brain that houses Hyde.  Bear with […]

  8. […] in and wondered what happened to me and why there was a shortage of new posts, don’t worry, Hyde has not tied me up and stuffed me into a closet so that she could engage in Hyde-like […]

  9. […] can always tell when I’ve started to hit that critical threshold during my writing routine. Hyde comes out to play, I debate if naps should be tax deductible, and I start contemplating a new […]

  10. […] 2010 approaches and, for the first time ever, I am signed up for it. I blame Hyde. I figure I might as well, since I believe most of my writing posse is going to blame ME. Pass the […]

  11. […] written about the dual nature of my muse before. One half of it is productive, the other half… er… not so much. I suspect most […]

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