-Victor “Free-Ballin” Hugo
Now that I have your attention, I’d like to open up a discussion inspired by an anecdote I recently stumbled upon. The legend goes that Victor Hugo, when afflicted with procrastination, would order his servants in the morning to remove everything from his home, including his clothes, except for his pen and paper. Through this means, Hugo’s nude self had no choice but to remain at home and write until his servant returned in the evening. Hugo was mainly trying to avoid the temptation of going out and getting hammered at some Parisian brothel, but the modern writer of today has so much more to contend with beyond the odd desire to go on a syphilitic jaunt through 19th century France.
Which brings me to my main point. Are there any stipulations you self-impose to “force” yourself to write? Do you turn off your internet connection? Retire to some remote part of the world? In other words, do you actively try to become your own secret police force, dolling out punishments or restrictions when writing goals aren’t met? I see the reason why some do. We all love to write, but for many of us, writing is incredibly tedious, depressing, painful, et cetera, especially compared to the simple pleasures of web browsing. Sometimes, one needs to go to extra lengths to maintain the discipline required by serious writing. What do you think?