Man vs Bookshelf

Man vs Bookshelf: Motivation and Doctor Who

This entry is part 36 of 66 in the series Man vs Bookshelf

This will be (at least) the third blog in a row in which I talk about my startling lack of motivation when it comes to my writing, reading, and blogging.

By now, things are getting desperate.

Thing is (and I think I’ve talked about this before, as well) regaining your motivation is a little bit like getting up early in the morning.

The night before you say you’ll get up at 6 am. You set your alarm and you go to sleep feeling confident. After all, you’ve got up at that time before. You know how good it makes you feel and you know how shit you’ll feel if you don’t do it.

So, you say, you’ll just hop up as soon as the alarm goes off, and all will be fine.

Then comes the morning, the alarm goes off, and a different brain wakes up to the one that went to sleep last night.

Now there you lie, knowing you’ll hate yourself for not getting up. But your brain just shrugs and promises you it will be okay.

So you go back to sleep, only getting up ninety minutes later at which point you’re in a rush to get ready for work, setting your whole day off on the kind of wrong note it can never recover from.

Trying to be motivated is like that.

Blogging is easy, in theory. I whip out my personal laptop at lunchtime, open up my Man vs Bookshelf file, and start writing. I get fifty minutes in, easy, every day.

It’s not like I’ve got anything else on, right?

I’m stuck here.

(Except when I’m at Pets at Home looking at hamsters).

So I tell myself to just do it, and avoid the self-loathing that comes from not doing it.

Then it comes around to lunch, and the wake-up brain kicks in once again.

Don’t worry about it, it says, you need lunch, don’t you?

I have lunch.

Call that lunch? It’s healthy! You need a fatty ready meal and a chocolate bar so you can feel lethargic and miserable all afternoon. Besides, you can write when you get back, can’t you? Still get half an hour, won’t you?

So I go. Up I get and I walk to Tesco and I buy shitty food and I come back and I microwave it (I’ve already eaten the chocolate bar) and I sit at my desk and I tell myself to get to work right away and then my wake up brain is at it again.

Why not just watch Eastenders while you eat?

And when I’ve finished eating why not just finish the episode?

And by the time I’ve finished Eastenders lunch is over and it’s time to get back to work.

Let the self-hate commence.

I finished the Doctor Who script book on the 12th, and sometime after that, I wrote the first half of this blog. Now I’m back again, writing the rest of it (assuming I finish it) on the 20th. That’s over a week and just two writing sessions when I was knocking out a couple of blogs a week before.

I’m at a low ebb.

You may have noticed.

My motivation has scuttled off and still, I don’t know how to reclaim it.

I’ll keep you updated on that front, I suppose.

For now…

Doctor Who: The Complete Shooting Scripts (Season One)

I promised a better review this week than last and the interesting thing about that statement is that it was a lie.

As with the Buffy scripts I am limited here to talking about the show, more than the scripts, and hey, who doesn’t know what they think about Doctor Who?

When the new series began I was 13 years old and thoroughly uninterested.

My brother, 11, wasn’t interested either.

(Note, 11 is his age, by the way, not his name).

But, although it might seem a strange thing to be authoritarian about, our parents forced us to sit down and watch the first episode “Rose”.

Now, I’m loath ever to admit someone other than myself is right, and usually, I don’t have to, because they aren’t.

But, I was hooked, right from that first episode.

Christopher Eccleston was outstanding, Billie Piper was amazing, John Barrowman was incredible and it had Simon Pegg and Tanya from Eastenders in it.

What’s not to love?

In fact, it’s easy to forget how good that first series was, because Christopher left a bad taste in the mouth in the way he departed the show and he was followed by David Tennant, who took the role to another level, and then Matt Smith, who was the best Doctor going.

If I go back and rewatch old episodes of Doctor Who now, I’m likely to watch Blink, or one of the episodes with the Master from Tennant, or anything with Matt Smith, so Ecclestone’s Doctor almost gets forgotten.

It was only in rereading said scripts I remembered how brilliant that first season was.

The fast-paced action of the first episode, the sheer horror and brilliance of Stephen Moffat’s World War 2 double and, of course, the reveal of the Dalek empire at the end.

There was so much to love in that first series, and it was all captured in those scripts. You could see how, from this blueprint, something so amazing arose.

Now, I’m not suggesting you go and read the scripts to this show. Maybe that’s not your bag.

But, if you love Doctor Who, and haven’t been back to that first series in a while, why not go give it a go? Remember why the new series became such a success.

Go in, it’ll be worth it.

I promise.

Next Time

Next up, I’m going to the very first Jack Reacher book.

The Killing Floor

See you then.

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International worst selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). Recently he is taking the internet by storm with his Man vs Bookshelf Challenge where he aims to read the 210 books on his bookshelf in 210 weeks, reviewing them on his blog and Goodreads along the way. He is also publishing books on Amazon, his most recent being the family suspense novel, Poor Choices, which you can find here.

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