Wednesday, 16 September 2015

I've got the writers' equivalent of The Yips. Or dartitis. Where you can't let go of the dart.

I've got the writing equivalent of darts players not being able to let go of the dart.

I thought there were two processes with writing:

Generating (brainstorming, freewriting, vomit passing)

and Editing (shaping, honing, second drafting).

But there aren't.

There are 3 - The third is:

Outputting (printing, emailing, shipping or publishing).

It's letting go of the thing.

So I looked up what the condition is called in darts players
- (by Googling "darts players not being able to throw a dart")

It's called dartitis, or as Eric Bristow called it...
The Yips.

And here are some randomly chosen solutions pasted from "The Dart Thrower" fan forums that might help writers let go of their arrows.

Just replace the word "player" with "writer",
"throw" with "publish",
and "darts" with "ideas".
"In my opninion dartitis is most likely a matter of rigidness in technique - means many fixed points in the throwing technique and a lack of touch.

Your friend should try to relax and throw [publish] more by touch than following some technical scheme. Just take it easy, and I know this is said easier than actually done. Losen his grip may help in release. He should forget about technique for a while and just try to throw [publish] with flow and fun. Once the feeling for a dart throw [sending an idea out into the world] is back he can get more technical again."
"2 - Did you ever try to imitate a player [writer] for more than curiosity or for a longer period?
4 - Did you play [write] rather fast or rather slow?"

"4) I would say I was a relatively fast player [writer] compared to other players [writers] in the league, but I had the problem of playing [writing] slower against a slow player [writer] and used to get bad results.

This is a typical rhythm problem. I also have problems against very slow players [writers], although I play [write] a bit slow myself.

Not necessarily a source for dartitis, because I feel that it should strike more often players [writers] on the slow side. However, this diagnosis can be a wrong.

But I see a connection between dartitis [not being able to output] and fast players [writers] using many fixed points.

The reason is that it is unlikely - when you rely on fixed points you might want to take yourself time to get them. If you then play [write] fast it is difficult to get them, and things can get out of control, with a disastrous effect. You can't get your fixed points and naturally become uncertain, which can get to the point you don't want to or can't release the dart [script or idea or blog post] because something is missing.

This might actually be an unconscious problem, and it is quite possible that the problem is made worse if you have developped fixed points you are unaware of. This can lead to the brain saying 'no' to release because it hasn't had the required fixed points, and this leaves yourself puzzled because you thought everything was okay. Now if you play [write] slower the chances are high you can get such unconscious fixed points easier and have less problems.

"Possible you are throwing [writing] differently in tournaments [publicly] than in practice [when freewriting in private], because you want to make things especially good in tournament [publicly], while you don't think much in practice and just let it flow. Maybe a subject of increased rigidness in tournament play [blogposting or script writing]?"

"...avoid getting rigid (some players [writers] tend to get rigid when they throw [write] slower). Again, learn visualizing and visualize the release phase. In addition a throwing [writing] exercise with a tennis ball [another idea] might help. Lay down on a bed or sofa and throw [write] a tennis ball [different idea] on the ceiling [another place] in a similar way you would throw a dart [write an idea] - with follow-through."

What helps?

Writing more freely - with fewer "fixed points".

One darts player noted "fixed points" on your body change over time, which throws your ability to throw.

Fixed points for a writer change with age too,
which I guess affects the ability to let ideas out into the world,
if you're writing how you think you should be writing...

Updated my "5 Ways To Bust Writer's Block and Procrastination"

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