Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Internal Bullshit Detector

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 12:52 pm

Blogging seems so different now. I just took a look at all the Friday Fives that I have missed over the last month and I really can’t bear to answer the question, “If you were a shoe, what would you look like?” Even now, I’m tempted to answer the question. I can feel the answer welling up within me, but the Internal Bullshit Detector that I installed to get through the month of writing nothing but fiction until I hit the 50,000 word mark keeps bitch-slapping the answer until it whimpers something about Saint Bartholomew.

“He was skinned alive, you know…” it quietly mutters, hoping the words will keep the Bullshit Detector from hitting it anymore. “He’s usually depicted as a bloody figure carrying his own skin. Charming, huh? Don’t you think it’s strange how scared the Christians are of the Wiccans when the Christian symbols of holiness are so gory?” The Bullshit Detector raises its hand as if it’s going to hit the idea again. “Show some respect!”

I don’t know how to uninstall it. I hit the Add/Delete Programs button on the Start Menu, but it’s not listed there. I don’t quite remember installing it, but I must have done it. No one else has access to the mainframe of my mind. I’ve actually found the Bullshit Detector useful over the last 30 days. Maybe it’s in the Startup folder and I just need to put it back into the list of programs to be clicked on only when I need it instead of continually running in the background.

It’s there right now, trying to transform and mangle the words I write into something useful. “Maybe Ambigo could be feeling like this. Maybe Petros is trying to document everything that has happened and is having writer’s block or something…” It works very well. I didn’t have writer’s block the entire month. I just had moments when I was so tired I couldn’t move my fingers. Fortunately, Stacey, Dan and Mike took me to Vegas and my fingers got a good four-day rest right in the middle of the month when I needed it most.

It was so helpful having that voice in the background at all times. “What does this have to do with the task at hand? Is it research? No? Well, it certainly ain’t writing fiction! Get back to work, slacker.” The Bullshit Detector speaks with a southern accent in a really loud voice. I think it’s an amalgam of that drill sergeant from An Officer and A Gentleman played by Louis Gossat Junior and Nell Carter from Gimme a Break when she was mad at the girls and not the loving nanny that she was most of the time. It’s neither female nor male. It’s tough as nails and it’s telling me that I am completely off my rocker if I think I am going to post this as a blog entry.

Maybe it’s not a Bullshit Detector. Maybe it’s the Demon of Perfection that has haunted me since I first started writing way back in 1979. Miss Veater reading my essay about Great Britain in front of the whole class and telling them that what I wrote was exactly what she was looking for is not enough. Mr. Godfrey reading my poems in front of the class and not making fun of them was not enough. Getting my work in the literary magazine was not enough. Being a member of the staff of the literary magazine was not enough. Publishing my thoughts every day was not enough. Writing 50,000 words in a month was not enough. Yes, that’s what it is. I’ve received another visit from the Demon of Perfection.

Dammit, I thought I had that thing locked in a box. How the hell did it escape? Good costume, though…


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