Friday, 30 March 2012

Excuses or fate?

Despite Mr Gove and the Toadmeister's love of Latin there are few advantages to having a Classical education. I have a GCSE A-level AND a degree in the subject and let me tell you, outside of successfully answering the occasional quiz question and guessing what was going to happen in Percy Jackson before it was spelt out, knowing which is the only Greek tragedy we have three alternate versions of (Electra - we still have text by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) and whether or not there were horses at Marathon (nobody knows but scholars get REALLY worked up on the subject) hasn't done me an awful lot of good *stares gloomily at bank account*. But one thing I do understand all too well is hubris.

Hubris is often thought of as pride or arrogance. It's more than that. Hubris is a mixture of smugness, resting on laurels, pride-going-before-a-fall, self righteousness - mixed with overwhelming arrogance and pride. Oedipus was a little too self-satisfied with his life before it all came crashing down with the realisation he had killed his father and married his mother (look, coincidence happens. I have, incidentally, written three essays in my life exploring whether Oedipus' downfall was due to fate or his own actions. I have no idea what conclusion I came to but believe me, hubris was involved and probably evoked many times in said essays).

So what was I thinking when I, smugly, with wrongful pride and arrogance blogged about my new, amazing, life changing 1000 words a day writing habit? Obviously at that moment Zeus, who let's face it has little else to do now he can no longer go round dressed as a swan to ravish maidens, shouted 'Guilty, hubris!' and made sure that I would now have to come amongst you and, with bowed head and repentant tears, admit I have only managed 2000 words in two weeks. I should, right now,be relaxing, feet up in the sun, enjoying a reading break before the Big Edit. No. I am staring at my keyboard wondering where it all went wrong and knowing I have 7000 words to go. Sure there are excuses, reasons, obstacles - all perfectly good and valid, apart from the day I wasted with a hangover (thanks, Dionysus) - but the main reason is that obviously, the gods were against me. Honestly.
*goes off to sacrifice a goat*
*not really, I am vegetarian*.


Jessica Hart said...

You may not be writing your thousand words a day, but it's a great blog! And the sun has been shining. Go easy on yourself. The words will come sooner or later, and sometimes it's better not to force them (that's MY excuse, anyway)

Julia Broadbooks said...

That's always the question. Should I push on and write what I know are bad pages? Or should I go slower and write a draft that I can hope will be better than that?

Honestly, sometimes I have no idea why the words pour onto the screen in a river of brilliance one day and need to coaxed into a mere trickle of productivity the next. If you figure it out, let me know!