“First drafts rely on MOMENTUM. Refining adjectives does not count as work.” link
This sentence jumped out at me, in among the somewhat off-putting “Self said this, Self did this” lines by Lionel Shriver in this piece from The Graun in 2012. She’s spot on with that line.
It was only after I read this knot of wisdom that I realised Shriver is the self-same person who wrote this more recent opinion piece in The New Republic, which came across as rather whiney and navel directed.
“At a time I desperately need to get my next first draft off the ground, check out my commitments for the next couple of months or so: multiple-hour interviews with Dutch and Belgian periodicals, along with the dreaded photo shoots. Literary festival appearances in London’s Soho, Charleston, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Newcastle, Folkestone, Cambridge, Wapping, and Bali (yeah, yeah, tell us another sob story—but Southeast Asia involves a 17-hour plane trip and a discombobulating seven-hour time difference; I still have to work on more than my tan). A reading of one of my short stories at the Arts Club in London. Dinners with my publisher and editor to discuss a new imprint. Copious radio interviews. A ceremony for the National Short Story Award, for which I’m short-listed—and prizes are a particularly destructive time and emotion suck, since in most cases you don’t win. The delivery of a “sermon” in Manchester, which for an atheist will be a big ask. A formal lecture in Amsterdam, replete with mini author’s tour for the Dutch translation of my last novel. A panel on “storytelling” for Mumsnet. A presentation to prospective supporters of Standpoint magazine, for which I write a monthly column. An “in-conversation” for a medical conference. What already awaits in 2014? A reading at the Royal Academy, a two-week promotional tour of Australia, a six-week teaching residency in Falmouth, events in Muncie, Indiana, and Bath, and invitations, as yet mercifully unaccepted, to festivals in Alberta, Vancouver, Estonia, and Singapore.
I’m concerned that my delivery of this cascade of beaverishness might come across as boasting. On the contrary, it serves as both lament and confession. My scribbled diary is a disgrace. Taken as a whole, my upcoming schedule does not remotely represent the life I signed up for when I was seven years old.” link
I can understand a certain reluctance not turn some things down, but really… If it’s impacting your life that much and it’s annoying you and you are mega-successful and you are (probably) fairly well-off too. Why don’t you, you know, just say “No” to shit?