The Fight Against Failurism

What are the writers of your time like?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


This a brief note to all those bravely taking part in Nanowrimo. I hear that a good contingenthas been lined up - so good luck to you all!

I look forward to hearing that you all successfully completed the task of 50000 words written during November - and better still, finished your stories.

I look forward to reading them!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yeah for Scott!

Well, I've finsihed The Shrinking Man - and I want people to think about its subliminal message against failurism.

You're sitting at your desk, or slumped in a chair or collapsed on the bed. wherever you are, you are staring into space. There is a mountain of work threatening to swamp you. You know you can't get it all done by the deadline, and you're afraid that everything will go wrong and you'll be a failure.

So what do you do?

You sit staring into space, wondering how you'll find time to do it all - and you do NOTHING!

This is a broader application of Failurism, but I'm sure you recognise the signs. You're frozen into inaction. if somebody came along and asked you to do something else, you'd probably jump at the chance. Alternatively you just get depressed and grumpy, and be anything but a joy to live with.

The answer is, of course, to do one thing at a time. Complete one thing, the pile gets smaller - it's less intimadating, and at least you've accomplished something. You can feel a little better, and because the mountain of work is slightly less daunting, you can approach it with enthusiasm.

Think of Scott.

Even at 2/7 of an inch tall, he did not give up. He never stopped trying to survive the black widow who was equally determined to eat him. Everything was an enormous obstacle to him. He had to find food and water every day. He had to cut his clothes down to size every day. The effort of finding water to satisfy his parched throat involved climbing, scrambling, running for what were miles to him and took an enourmous pphysical effort. Not only would the effort drain him, but he would fall and pull his muscles and bruise his body and jar every bone. But he never gave up.

What was worse, he did all this knowing that in another day or two he would have shrunk to nothing.

I'd have given up.

I'd have done what you are doing - staring into space.

But Scott wouldn't. He needed food for hIs last few days. He had to climb to great heights to get it. He had to be prepared to fight and kill the spider. So he systematically adjusted his clothing, made sandals from sponge, found a way of carrying water, got a pin and made a weapon, got another way and made a climbing hook.

He wouldn't understand failurism.

So the next time you feel overwhelmed with work, think of Scott and do one thing at a time. Don't let it beat you!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Book I am reading

This is a picture of the book that I am reading currently:

As you can, a man is being chased by a gigantic seven-legged spider.

Perhaps not the best book for me to read, given my hate-hate relationship with the creatures!

If you have seen the film (or can read the title in the photo), you know or can guess the story - man starts to shrink, an inch a week. I am waiting for him to shrink to nothing.

It's a fantastic idea, and the story tells of the man's suffering - his anger, his fears, his frustrations, his relationships and his life as they fall to pieces, and the deprivations he endures particularly when tiny - yet his determination to survive in the face of all these odds remains indomitable. Both the suffering and his instinct (and ability) to survive are brilliantly portrayed, as he manages to stay alive in the cellar - half an inch tall, climbing mountains (or fridges) to eat moulded crackers, or scramble up a cliff (thimble) to drink brackish water collected from a leaking pipe. All of this while dodging the spider - and a black widow at that! - who seems determined to snare him.

It must be the grimmest book I've ever read.

There is no let up at all. As he struggles to mount enourmous obstacles - literally as well as figuratively - in the cellar, he has flashbacks of his life over the previous year - his anger, his fear, the deteriorating relationship with his wife, the loss of job, the financial hardships, the jeers and stares of neighbours, and the humiliation of being a freak.

Maybe there's a happy ending? I've never wanted the hero of a book to die as much as I want this one to (though not at the fangs of the spiddy). It's too cruel, the suffering is too intense.

Though brilliantly done, as I said earlier.

Incidentally, I wonder if the hero's name - Scott Carey - was deliberately chosen cos you could read it as S. Carey? (Almost scary!) What do you think?

Later this week, I will revert to my field of expertise - failurism - with accompanying comments on extreme tiredness, as requested.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spiders Vs Failurism

As I'm sure all my loyal fans have noticed, it has been a few days since I last blogged.

The reason for this has been clear, I'm sure - to show the worst effects of arachnaphobia - I can't even blog when I suffer from this!

Failurism has less unpleasant side effects, generally. (If you've experienced worse than severe nausea, shakes, sleeplessness, fever, nightmares or paranoia when undergoing a case of failurism, please send me details for my book).

Anyway, enough of this disgusting topic - it's time to revert to the more fascinating topic of Failurism.

Coming soon...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Looks like Fred was right!

Gone to ground! All of them, leaving behind only the traces of their existence.

Actually the traces are quite substantial cobwebs, yet to be tackled, but the spinners have vanished.

There is a slim possibility that they read my mind as I sat updating my blog and passed the word around the house - but I was careful to block the thought out of my mind as I updated this blog. I can't rule it out, but it is unlikely.

The evidence seems to point to the fact that spiders can and do read blogs! As Fred pointed out, spiders have been on the web a lot longer than the rest of us!

So watch what you type!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Do Spiders Read Blogs?

Call this a test.

There is a spider hanging about near the shower, a medium to large one.

Tomorrow I propose to vacuum him up - now, will he read this and be forewarned?

If he has vanished from sight in the morning, I will be very suspicious!

More news from the spider hunt tomorrow!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Successful day's hunt

Hadn't planned to raise the body count so well today (must post my kills on the blog!).

Planned to clean out a cobwebby drawer in the desk today. Was quite surprised that it was less cobwebbed than I had expected. Removed the items, gave the drawer a quick vacuum to rid it of the accumumlated dust. The inside of the drawer remained a little grimy so removed the drawer from the desk, took it into the kitchen and wiped it clean. Decided the give the outside of the drawer a little rub and to my horror, disgust, shock and abhorrance, when I turned the drawer over to check underneath it, a HUGE spider started to move!

Fortunately my good friend Dyson was to hand, and the spiddy did not move far. I was in shock though, and with shaky hands, went over to the desk to return the drawer.

Another monster, fat & bulbous, awaited me, just in the shadows.

I still feel sick about it.

Puts failurism into perspective.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Spiders CAN read your mind!

Don't be fooled - spiders really can read your mind!

At least, when you are thinking about them, they manage to pick up the vibes. Perhaps they read your mind on other matters - what you will wear tomorrow, who you will vote for, what's for dinner - but the moment you think about getting the vacuum out, they dive for cover!

I used to think they could merely overhear you talk to your housemates about your intentions to remove their webs and all occupants, and would immediately vanish into the tiniest of plaster cracks. However, recent experience has shown me that they could read my mind. Without uttering my intentions, for fear the little creatures would depart from view, I merely planned the hunt in thought - but what happened? Yes, they have all vanished from sight - and I speak here of a heavily infested house!

I still can get the cobwebs but I'd rather get the spinners with them. Before my home turns into one giant web.

I realise that this is an aside from failurism, but you need to be warned of the arachnids mind reading abilities!

We'll revert to our usual topic later this week.

Until then - kill the spiders before thinking about it!